Oz’s Business Continuity Tip of the Month : “Imagine that”

Last month’s tip (‘Ready for anything?’) suggested exercising and testing our business continuity strategies, solutions and plans against a number of scenarios, as it’s likely that different scenarios will highlight different issues.

So here are a few examples to give you some food for thought :

  • Denial of access to your premises. This could be short, long-term or indefinite and could be due to either a neighbour’s problem or one of your own (examples include fire, flood, asbestos, chemical spill, industrial accident or crime);
  • Computer hardware stolen or impounded under an evidence preservation order (sometimes referred to as an ‘Anton Piller Notice’);
  • Supply chain disruption (e.g. due to a protest or a fuel strike or the unavailability of components or raw materials) or the failure of a key supplier;
  • A prolonged utility failure, such as a power or telecommunications outage, affecting just your site or the local area;
  • Negative media attention, as a result of the activities of the organisation or its employees;
  • IT outage and/or significant data loss;
  • Loss or unavailability of key employees or multiple employees (due to accident, illness, or even a lottery win).

The possibilities are almost endless, limited only by your imagination and the willingness of the participants to get involved.

You might draw the line at a zombie attack, as used by at least one organisation recently. Then again, you might not!


3 Responses to Oz’s Business Continuity Tip of the Month : “Imagine that”

  1. Jon-Paul Gabriele January 2, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    I am planning to do a flooding exercise with a twist this year, a leaking pipe from the water cooler goes unnoticed and causes the roof to collapse so when people arrive at work one morning they find they can’t get into their office. (I’m hoping this will cause no end of problems as alot of vital data is stored in some of our offices and is solely paper based!) They will be expecting surface water flooding so this will be a curve ball and show that flooding doesn’t always have to be the result of heavy rain!

    • Andy January 8, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

      Hi Jon-Paul,

      You’re absolutely right. In fact, in my experience, flooding is more often caused by leaky pipes and the like.

      I had a client a while ago who had a flood on the 3rd floor because builders had put a nail into a water pipe during the day. It wasn’t noticed at the time so it dripped all night and flooded the false floor, rendering the trading floor unusable for the next couple of days.

      I also sometimes use the scenario of a break-in (often when the building’s unoccupied because of another unrelated problem), during which the burglars turn on the taps in the toilets and kitchens, resulting in flooding throughout the building. This actually happened to another company I know of so it’s not as far-fetched as it might sound.

      Oh I do like those curve balls!

      Have fun with your exercise,

      • Jon-Paul Gabriele January 9, 2013 at 10:05 am #

        Hi Andy,

        Thanks for the feedback, two really good examples there which will be really useful! I think our staff are that focussed on flooding from heavy rain (due to what’s happened over the last year) they have their blinkers on as to what else could happen so it should be very interesting!


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