An Introduction to Business Continuity Management
Manchester City Council wants to ensure that there is capacity in the city and its infrastructure to withstand the consequences of serious incidents.
The ability to do this is a measure of 'resilience' and is an important aspect of building safer and stronger communities. In other words, we want to make sure that the City can cope with incidents and can return to 'business as usual' as quickly as possible.
Business Continuity Management is about understanding risks to the everyday running of a business or organisation and planning other ways of working if the risk is realised.
For example, if an organisation's building is closed down with suspected Asbestos deposits, would there be anywhere else for staff to work?
In our 2009 Business Survey, 23% of respondents had never even heard of Business Continuity. However, this demonstrates an improvement from the previous survey (June 2007) where 40% of those surveyed had not heard of business continuity before. The latest Business Survey (July 2011) shows dramatic improvement in the levels of business continuity awareness in Manchester, now with just 7% of respondents being unaware of business continuity planning.
In 2011, 35% of respondents had tested business continuity plans, a slight improvement from 2009, where 33% of the 645 respondents had put business continuity plans in place and tested them. However, this again shows an improvement on results from 2007 where just 19% of the 683 respondents had put Business Continuity Plans in place and tested them.
The bomb that devastated Manchester city centre in 1996 affected over 600 businesses and many went out of business completely.
Businesses and voluntary organisations who provide services to the City need to consider how they would cope both during and after an emergency or incident that interrupts business.
Understanding how you can get your organisation up and running quickly after an incident means that you are much more likely to be able to provide employment, meet customer need and ultimately, survive the incident and generate income.
The most common type of incidents that affect businesses on a regular basis include:
- interruption to IT systems
- loss of a key supplier
- interrupted supply of a utility e.g. water
Business Continuity helps you to prepare strategies to cope with such a disruption so that you can continue to deliver your most critical activities.