Business Continuity Planning Can Make us Stronger

Recent high-wire tensions between India and Pakistan over recent Mumbai attacks have reactivated the urge to treat freedom as a blessing from God and take liberty to use it the way it deserves. Correlation exists between freedom and Business Continuity and though I admit that businesses are well aware and well educated regarding importance of Business Continuity, how many of them actually have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in place, is a whole different story. The million dollar question still remains, how ready are our businesses?

We all need to acknowledge the fact that both neighboring countries have been caught up in series of wars in the past and recently both acquired the status of being a “nuclear nation” thus, increasing threat levels. Logically, increase in the threat levels should result in having a robust BCP. Unfortunately, however, the ground reality does not reflect the negative sentiment in the air. Although large businesses and multinationals take BCP seriously and local companies, especially banks and other financial institutions, are slowly moving towards accepting BCP as a critical part of the overall strategic goals however, the story takes a bitter turn when we take a birds view picture of what Business Continuity processes are in place in Pakistan, as a whole.

The answer is simple: “No Plan!” We are responsible and accountable to acknowledge our freedom in the right way and take measures which can benefit the entire community.

We need to broaden our thoughts and accept that we are fighting two wars war on terrorism and war against economic crisis. As a nation, firstly, we need to be aligned with one objective – building Pakistan as an economic power. Sounds simple right? It demands honesty, devotion and commitment to get there. We cannot achieve anything by working in isolation nor can get out of liquidity crisis by levying financial punishments on the public. We all need to compete globally and gain exposure in the international market.

On the other hand, we have problems with almost everything: shortage of survival goods, shortage of electricity and sound infrastructure and more importantly shortage of true leaders and planners that can really work for a noble cause and give Pakistan an eventual facelift. It is a universal fact that, by enhancing the business productivity, all businesses will prosper. In other words, if we live within our means and act proactively by planning for disruptions before hand, it will surely result in fewer disruptions, ultimately resulting in higher profits, greater customer and employee satisfaction.

And yes, you guessed it – the solution to how disruptions can be reduced is having the Business Continuity Plan in place.

Managing Risk

Business Continuity, in the simplest sense, is about making proactive and reactive plans to ensure that an organization, country as a holistic approach, can continue to operate regardless of any interruption. In the present day world, ‘Business Continuity Planning’ is becoming increasingly important.

Today, we are faced with multiple internal as well as external threats. In this fast changing, yet highly vulnerable environment, ‘emergency preparedness’ deserves attention. There is a need for making
comprehensive arrangements for BCP in the form of instituting physical security measures so that operational sustainability of individual institutions, as well as of our country, is ensured.

In my view, management supported Business Continuity programmes do involve an exploration of organizational culture. Effective programmes will utilize change management techniques to ensure that the organization encourages a culture where all employees are sufficiently aware of everyday risks and their individual responsibility to report, manage and mitigate risks. Once, we are effective by properly implementing Business Continuity at organizational levels, we can move a step further by embedding same resilient processes across nation and help Pakistan gain respect.

    Author Information

    Sohail Khimani is a Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP)

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