Don’t be surprised when technology goes wrong, because it’s developed and written by people, who by their nature are not perfect.
So when we have a catastrophic disaster in our business relating to technology, it’s the technology which is the last visual evidence of the failure of “the people and processes” within the business.
Good business continuity (BC) is a huge task in itself, it goes way beyond technology weakness, it involves all the processes and values of the business. How many businesses have a “business continuity strategy” around their key staff, what happens if a disaster takes your key people out, how do you react, what processes do you have in place, how quick will the succession be and how do you handle the corporate communications strategy?
We often look at technology being the disaster, it’s not, it’s the people. So if you are CEO looking at technology “business continuity” look much deeper into the critical support processes, procedures and people you need to have in place. Your CIO can be your technical guide, but Business Continuity is best served through external providers, because of scale, accessibility, location and time zones.
Remember when a business continuity plan kicks in, it is generally associated with chaos, so to provide good business continuity apply a little chaos to the key steps and plans in your process so that those involved in the process of recovery are familiar with the environment that they will find themselves in. This is like training for survival, “there is no point in learning to survive in a normal swimming pool, if in reality the water is so cold you will survive 3 minutes!”
Business continuity is an absolute critical element to strategic business technology and is critically important as we disperse more and more information across social silos. However, the likes of E&Y and providers like Sungard (amongst others) can help considerably, it is the onus of the c-level business executives to ensure that Business Continuity involves “people, processes and technology.”
So if you want to motivate your staff, here’s an idea, give them a disaster to handle in your business instead of sending them out on “outward bound or personal development courses”, for a bit of fun get them to attack your business, prepare a cyber attack, or take a buildings power down, go on try it, you will learn much about your people, processes and technology way beyond what you ever imagined.
And you will also realize just how important continual strategic business continuity planning is to your business long term success.