August 10, 2013
Selecting the right Business Continuity (BC) Strategy can be a very expensive exercise for SME when we decide to adopt the conventional wisdom. It usually starts with having some of these BC strategy: hot site, warm site and cold site. Given the cost implication, small and medium enterprises (SME) when implementing these BC strategies may want to consider the following:
- Communication: As SME usually have a smaller workforce, the deployment of communication during a crisis will focus more on day-today conveniences such as the use of the smartphone, tablets and notebooks. Software such as SKYPE, VIBER and WHATAPPS will become an useful tools to deploy during a disaster.
- Vital Records: The use of scanning to digitalise a version of hard copy documentation will become a useful strategy. The need to re-engineer the workflow becomes a pre-requisite.
- Back-up: With he advancement of the cloud computing and the relatively reduction of cost of implementation, SME can now backup its data via some form of cloud business continuity solution. This is already done with the backup to iCloud for your Apple iPhone and Amazon.
- Application Availability: The hosting of SME into the cloud will reduce the need for hardware and software management. It will also minimise the disruption of IT services when there is an unavailability of facility scenario.
- E-commence: This serves as an gateway to your organization and it also reduce the reliance of your facility should a disruption occurs.
If you review what had been highlighted, a typical SME organization should focus on improving its economic survivability with these implementation not only for business continuity but rather to gain competitive advantage.
August 10, 2013
Just completed the APEC train-the-trainer workshop for seed trainers at Taipei, Taiwan. Having the opportunity to review of the “Guidebook on SME Business Continuity Planning” from APEC SME Crisis Management Centre and mentored seed trainers, thought it would be good to document some of the thoughts and observations. The training need to :
- Differentiate and understand the mentality of BCM takeup between SMEs’ management with Multinational organization’s senior management.
- Determine the start state of the BCP implementation – whether the SME is located in an urban environment (for example office) versus single site factory location.
- Relate whether the risk to organizations are derived an scenario based (specific threats) or multi-hazard approach (focusing on impact consequence)
- Understand that when an SME management (usually the owner or founder of the company) is convinced, the uptake of business continuity become the most important success factor
- Be kept as simple as possible. It is key to provide the trainer to deploy the first “quick wins” steps before the management received the “full blown” version of the BC planning process. They are looking for low cost, simple,practical and can be affordable over a longer period after implementation.
- Introduce the concept of “Minimum Business Continuity Objective“. The management of a typical SME should be asked a very fundamental question – “What business function or product/services must continue in my organization should it be disrupted?”
Generally a good session with many enthusiastic members who are keen on becoming a seed trainer in Chinese Taipei. Should repeat this for the rest of the 21 APEC economies as most of these economies are supported mainly by SME.
June 26, 2013
While Singapore is having a short “vacation” from the haze this week and the neighbors are still in the hazardous level, it is imperative that organization takes the next crucial steps to focus on its human resources.
At this juncture, the key is to take care of the staff members while they are being exposed to the haze due to work. The balance between work and completion of a assignment should be negotiated and I am sure that the customers will be reasonable with these request. The haze is here to stay and organizations must be prepared to “fight” this battles till the dry season is over in September 2013.