Business Continuity Strategies – Protecting Against Unplanned Disasters – Third Edition

Author: Kenneth N. Myers

In this book, the author discusses strategies for addressing two classes of catastrophic crises that can happen to an organization: the failure of computers, and violence and terror in the workplace.

Many times, the author fights two things concerning the first class:

–    Deciding too easily for a disaster recovery site where all business software is duplicated
–   
Making the wrong questions to the business people when determining the BIA.

As far as the latter is concerned, the consultants turn out to be asking the questions mainly structurally wrong, eg do not ask:

–    How long can you do without a PC?

Because then the answer is always something very short-lasting, like “24 hours”

Ask the question differently by confronting them with the actual situation that has occurred:

–    IT and the server network are available for 14 calendar days. What are you going to do and what do you need to continue / save the business?

Because of this other approach to ask the questions, the business people are much more aware of the problems that might arise and they start thinking better.

The author also gives a number of examples of alternative approaches to a number of branches in organizations during times of crisis, which can be applied in a large number of companies. This is to temporarily bridge the PC-less period, the time that the ICT department needs to make everything back up and running.

In this book the author tackles the question in a solid way. The first chapter is therefore about defining the issue. Then the chapters on computer problems and violence come to the workplace. Then he gives some advice on how to approach a contingency plan. He also gives some attention to awareness and training.

Apart from the number of alternative examples of the possible practices in case of a computer outage, for which a disaster recovery website is good and what is not, and how the questions need to be asked to the business for drawing up a BIA and the related contingency plan, the book remains theoretically at a good level. It therefore classifies itself on a level above that of beginners.

Manu Steens

Manu works at the Flemish Government in risk management and Business Continuity Management. On this website, he shares his own opinions regarding these and related fields. Since 2012, he has been working at the Crisis Centre of the Flemish Government (CCVO), where he has progressed in BCM, risk management, and crisis management. Since August 2021, he has been a knowledge worker for the CCVO. As of January 2024, he works at the Department of Chancellery and Foreign Affairs of the Flemish Government. Here, he combines BCM, risk management, and crisis management to create a tailored form of resilience management to meet the needs of the Flemish Government.

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