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ITWeb's Business Continuity 2012 insights

By Rayhaan Joseph
Johannesburg, 14 Nov 2012

Is your business equipped to deal with any eventuality the world of business, the economy or mother nature may throw at it? Have you, as a business owner, or executive, even considered this question?

ITWeb’s Business Continuity Conference 2012 attempted to unlock some of the secrets to business continuity, how it should be implemented, and its value to an organisation.

The importance of business continuity to any organisation was emphasised by all the speakers throughout the event. Gaining executive buy-in and the difficulty in achieving this in order to put business continuity programmes in place was also stressed.

Tracey Linnell, from PricewaterhouseCoopers, highlighted some of the issues faced when the topic of business continuity is brought up. She gave examples of two common responses business continuity practitioners are often faced with when presenting business continuity plans to executives.

The first is “I have more important issues that I need to deal with, can we reschedule?”; while the second response is “but it will never happen, so this is just a waste of my time”.


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The stark reality is that it can happen, and when it does, an organisation needs to be prepared. Telkom’s Charlie Brits illuminated this fact in her address about the do’s and don’ts of disaster communications.

The disaster in question that Brits was referring to was Telkom’s Yeoville Exchange Disaster of 2010. Brits discussed the communications and recovery strategies Telkom put in place to deal with the disaster and its importance in mitigating the impact of the event.

How an organisation deals with a crisis will affect it negatively or positively going forward. An organisation that deals with a crisis poorly may never recover from it. Communication is important, and the organisation must appear transparent when making public statements regarding the crisis, Brits said.

Clifford Ferguson, of the Government Pensions Administration Agency (GPPA), highlighted four key components to embedding business continuity management in an organisation’s culture.

The first of these is understanding an organisation, as only once an organisation is fully understood can business continuity management be implemented.

Next, a business continuity management strategy needs to be determined. A business continuity management response then needs to be developed and implemented; and, finally, the programme needs to be exercised, maintained and reviewed.

The message that came across from all the speakers was that business continuity management is no longer an option for an organisation; it is an essential component of an organisation.

Going forward, its importance will be recognised, and the all-important executive buy-in will be easier to achieve.

Business Continuity in the news


BCM takes off in SADC 
19 Nov 2012 - Companies in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are buying into business continuity management (BCM).




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Diamond sponsor
ContinuitySA is the leading Business Continuity Management Company in South Africa and Africa. ContinuitySA offers a complete business continuity management (BCM) solution which include co-located to fully managed virtualised environments. ContinuitySA has a proven record of handling a wide range of business interruptions and is strategically positioned to ensure your business stays in business.

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Please note: all delegates at Business Continuity 2012 receive a free annual affiliate membership to the Business Continuity Institute (BCI).

In the news
BCM a critical management discipline
30 Oct 2012 – There’s a common-sense approach to protecting an organisation, and BCM is the leading discipline to achieve this, says business continuity expert.
Take a close look at the cloud
24 Oct 2012 – Cloud computing can offer numerous benefits for organisational resilience, but companies may overlook the possible pitfalls.
Virtualise for seamless DR
17 Oct 2012 – Virtualisation is the logical option for seamless disaster recovery and business continuity, says Turrito MD Brian Timperley.
BCI aims to build local BCM skills
15 Oct 2012 – The establishment of a BCI chapter for the SADC region is expected to boost business continuity management skills.
Business continuity needs top buy-in
27 Sep 2012 – Too often, business continuity is not taken seriously by top management, says Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Business continuity management (BCM) is too often assigned to staff with insufficient credibility.
Business continuity – a culture, not a plan
19 Sep 2012 – Business continuity is not just about disaster recovery – it should be a corporate culture. This is the view of Clifford Ferguson, Director: Strategy and policy, Government Pensions Administration Agency (GPAA), who says that when business continuity is top of mind, companies can deal with any eventuality.
Business continuity: nobody's prepared
17 Sep 2012 – When it comes to business continuity, we had all the answers. But now the questions have changed. So says Brian Henry of the local forum of the international Business Continuity Institute.

Endorsed by
The Business Continuity Institute (BCI) is the world’s leading institute for business continuity management. The BCI is a global membership and certifying organisation for business continuity practitioners and offers resources for business professionals concerned with raising levels of resilience within their organisation or considering a career in business continuity.