April 2013 Issue 81

How resilient is your business?

B2B Editor1 April 2013
We have seen major disasters over the past few years both in and outside of Australia that have caused significant disruption to businesses of all sizes. The Queensland floods, the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami are two that spring to mind.
It needn’t to be a major disaster, however, to render your business unable to operate in a ‘business as usual’ manner. It may be the lossof key staff, damage to infrastructure, loss of data or loss of access to business premises. Only a short time ‘off line’ can have a significantimpact on your business and may result in the loss of customers to your competitors.
So how do we improve our resilience?
The first thing we need to do is identify our critical business activitiesi.e. those activities that, if not done, will mean that the business cannot undertake its core functions and achieve its objectives.
Once we have done this we identify the events (risks) that wouldimpact on their continued operation. These need to be treated to reduce the likelihood of the event, however, simply reducing the likelihood does not eliminate the risk so we need to put in place strategies to reduce the impact if the event does occur.
These strategies may be as simple as having a back-up generator in the case of a power outage or off-site storage of data in the eventof a server collapse through to more complex redundancy measures built into designs or alternate facilities in the case of a loss of access.Whatever the strategy, all personnel need to be trained so that they understand their responsibilities and these plans need to be regularly tested to identify any gaps that may exist.
The most unhelpful attitude that a company can have is: “it will never happen to us”. If we turn that around so that we are asking the question”what happens if?” we are going to be better prepared, more resilient andwe will also have the ability to return to business as usual in a shorter time frame, thus minimising the impact to our customers.
PO Box 359, MITCHELL ACT 2911 Australia
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