As a holistic process to identify potential threats to an organisation and the impacts that those threats might cause to operations, Business Continuity Management (BCM) provides a framework for building organisational resilience with the capability for an effective response to safeguard key stakeholders' interests, reputation and value-creating activities.
BCM is an established part of the preparations for the possible threats posed to organisations, whether from internal systems failures or external emergencies such as extreme weather, terrorism, or infectious disease.
In a BCM summit by Gartner, 71 per cent of respondents claim that BCM is regarded as important by senior management in their organisation in 2010. This may reflect increased awareness of the importance of BCM following the high-profile disruptions experienced across in the UK in 2010, such as the extreme winter weather.
See the article: http://www.managers.org.uk/sites/default/files/u217/Disruption_Resilience_2010.pdf
In today's universities, IT has become an essential component in various operational processes including financial accounting, communication, academic research and teaching. Such intensive reliance on IT demands high levels of system resilience and effective contingency plans for possible system outages. With BCM, universities would be able to recover critical operations during various disruptions including system outage.
BCM will be especially important if a university relies on IT processes under the following circumstances:
- Student registration and administration process are highly automated via web portals;
- Traditional paper-based information, such as staff/student records, academic research papers, sensitive financial data, are being digitalised;
- External IT vendors are employed to provide services on critical IT processes; and
- Certain information resources or processes are consolidated and shared among multiple universities, for example shared IT service centres.