Continuity Planning Should Be Personnel Planning

Armistead Whitney,
CEO of Preparis Inc., a global
business preparedness company, makes the compelling point in Enterprise
that disaster recovery and continuity planning are about more
than just backing up your servers to a secure offsite location. They should be
about protecting your people and making sure they’re equipped to bounce back
from any sort of disaster. His four big thoughts:

SolutionsIt’s a New World

One of the many business lessons to come out of the
horror of 9/11 was the need to prepare your employees and operations for
disaster. This decade has also demonstrated that these threats can come from a
variety of sources — whether pandemics such as H1N1, natural disasters (which
seem to be exacerbated by global warming), or workplace violence (which grows
with rising unemployment rates).

Technologies Support
Better Readiness

Consider the recent advances in communications
technology when thinking about the preparedness of your workforce. Written
business continuity plans sitting on the shelf, although good to have, are
difficult to update, communicate, and actually use during a crisis. Software as
a service (SaaS), on the other hand, can be utilized to effectively develop an
‘on-demand’ continuity program.

Practice Makes

Crisis team managers should be certified and need to
be briefed regularly on key issues. As many will rely on their knowledge and
actions, response skills to multiple threat scenarios should be refreshed
regularly to improve the likelihood of successful recovery from a crisis.

Without Your
Employees, You Have No Business

Recent surveys have shown that businesses unprepared
to address a crisis have a 40 percent chance of closing their doors within two
years. Are you prepared to face those odds? Is the program you¿re developing
sufficient to address the key concerns? How useful is your data if your
workforce isn¿t there to access it?

That’s right. No matter how great your IT infrastructure is,
people do still have to come first.

— Don Willmott