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Business Continuity Management: an introduction.

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What is the purpose of Business Continuity Management?

The goal of a Business Continuity Manager is, within the limits and conditions formulated by company management, to take care that the normal activities of the company, organization or institution can (re-)start, within a stipulated time frame, when a calamity or disaster occurs. Governments pay special attention to information/data and ICT systems that receive, save, edit, view and send data as these are the most important resources for the contemporary business operations.
Business Continuity Management: some calamities we all can recognize.
Business Continuity Management: some calamities we all can recognize.

Consequences of a calamity

The abruptness and the often large impact on the normal functioning of an organization can result in, among other things, the following:
  • Chaos and uncertainty
  • Demotivated employees
  • Services or products cannot be supplied (on time)
  • Financial auditing is no longer possible
  • Fraud
  • Damage to Image/brand/reputation
  • Information is no longer at hand
  • Vital information is lost
  • Injured or died (key) employees
A survey conducted by the American "National Archives & Records Administration" under banks, insurance companies, manufacturing and logistics companies shows that 25% of these companies that fell victim to a 2 to 5-day ICT disruptive calamity went bankrupt immediately. 93% of the companies that lose their ICT systems for 10 days or more, close down within a year. Shockingly high numbers that make no one happy.

What to do?

Awareness that a fire, power failure or other disaster not only affects your neighbour is the first step. Start with the questions "what am I going to do about it?" and "who is going to do it?". These articles may help getting you started: Within your company or organization, you can implement the Business Continuity Management process based on the Deming Cycle of Continuous Improvement so existing procedures will be regularly reviewed, improved and changes consolidated so they match your ever changing business processes.
Deming Cycle of Continuous Improvement (Plan, Do, Check and Act) with consolidation.
Deming Cycle of Continuous Improvement (Plan, Do, Check and Act) with consolidation.


A calamity mostly arises from an incident of external origin that expands across multiple hardware systems, software systems or even employees. These incidents include:
  • Fire
  • Economic boycotts
  • Epidemics
  • Hacking
  • Floods
  • Sabotage
  • Software errors
  • Storm damages
  • Failing software updates
Of course a failure can result in a calamity. For example, a server that is running too hot for a long time and reports "overheating" as a failure can eventually result in a calamity such as a fire.
Briefly formulated a failure is a confined problem that relates to one program or one hardware component. Solutions for failures are mostly found in redundancy and high availability systems ( HA )
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