By Matthew Harper
As a proud corporate partner of the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), Tigertail Australia is really excited that this year’s theme for Business Continuity Awareness Week is “Investing in Resilience”.
We see resilience as the ability to bounce-back from disruption and to thrive in an uncertain world. A resilient organisation is aware of the world around it, scans for threats and opportunities, and responds quickly when things change. The fundamental building-block of resilience is people – people who are properly prepared and willing to do their bit. Investing in resilience is investing in people; investing in policies, plans and procedures that help them do their job; and investing in practise to ensure they are match-fit and prepared for when things go wrong.
One of the great things about our work is seeing organisations invest in resilience everyday; whether it’s a review, an exercise, a training program, or developing an emergency or business continuity plan. To mark Business Continuity Awareness Week, we will look at different aspects of investing in resilience, starting with a glimpse at an innovative approach to exercising business continuity plans.
Advances in technology are making computer-based simulations more accessible and cost-effective. Today, you can use software to explore how your organisation might respond to a disruption. You can build a model of your organisation’s people, assets and equipment, geo-located on a map, and test what happens if, for example, you lose access to a key supply route or location. You can even test classical continuity strategies, such as establishing an alternate site, and confirm how long it might take to move staff and equipment.
We recently used a computer-based simulation for a BC exercise in the ACT to model the “spare spaces” available to the business continuity team across Canberra. We included all the important items, like computers and phones, then we identified the time and space constraints for moving people across the city. This allowed the organisation to look at BC from the micro level (who sits at what desk) through to the strategic (what service objectives and capabilities could be met at what times). The simulation allowed the continuity team to explore options and workshop alternative approaches in real time. It identified resource choke-points and gaps. And it helped the team build confidence in responding to disruption.
How is computer-based simulation an investment in resilience? It’s a cost-effective way to build an exercise where:
· an entire continuity team can practise responding;
· teams can model alternative approaches;
· time, space and resource constraints are real; and
· reviews are supported by objective data
Please contact us if you want to learn more about using computer-based simulation to build resilience.