Sep 19, 2014
Having an effective business continuity plan ensures companies are prepared for unforeseen circumstances that would ordinarily halt or hinder day-to-day operations.
The best way to develop a comprehensive business continuity policy is to have several back-up measures, including sophisticated disaster recovery software, well-trained employees and alternative power sources in case of an electrical outage.
However, industry expert Lyndon Bird claimed there are often three primary obstacles organisations face when trying to implement a successful plan. According to Mr Bird, technical director at the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), these factors are:
1. Poor senior management buy-in
Support for business continuity initiatives needs to come from senior executives, and this means more than just approving the necessary budget.
Mr Bird said schemes must be communicated "enthusiastically" and "positively" from the top down to have the best chance of success.
2. Middle management difficulties
While CEOs and other senior executives are likely to give the green light to business continuity efforts, it will be middle managers on the ground who oversee implementation.
As such, ensuring these employees are on-board is important, particularly as they may already be under-resourced and over-committed elsewhere.
3. Communicating risk effectively
Business continuity professionals must adequately communicate the dangers of poor risk management to other personnel.
Mr Bird said it creates a "tick-box mentality" if employees see business continuity as simply a part of compliance, so risks must be made to "look and feel real".
Many of these challenges are well documented, but what can organizations do to overcome them?
"To successfully address these obstacles, it is essential to properly understand how the business actually works and who the really influential players are, those whose opinions are sought and listened to," Mr Bird said.
"Find out what the real drivers of success are and what top management really worry about."