Where is the Truth in Business Continuity Today?

Let’s set some expectations. This blog post won’t give any definitive answer about the question above! On the other hand, this post is prompted by a comparison of recent news items, on the face of it interconnected and yet apparently at odds. Within the space of less than a month one survey found that companies severely lacked visibility through their supply chain, while another cited a majority of companies claiming to have a business continuity plan. A third one found that most companies experienced problems in recent disaster recovery tests; the fourth suggested that about half its respondents considered data breaches were inevitable, but unacceptable in others. Does this remind you of something?

You’ve probably seen ‘trick’ photos at some point, where the photographer has captured an image of an object at an unexpected angle, or juxtaposed and photographed two objects in an unexpected way. The resulting picture is still the truth (assuming nobody has been retouching the photos after). It’s just an unexpected truth. Similarly, you can consider an item or a phenomenon in different ways and end up with different truths. The classic ‘glass half-full or glass half-empty’ question is one example. For the scientifically minded, the question about light being a wave or a particle is another.

Business continuity is a similar case, at least when you look at organisations at large. It’s conceivable that a large number of enterprises have BC plans in place (AT&T 2013 Business Study), but that they haven’t yet executed on the whole of their supply chain (KPMG survey) or put the right procedures in place for DR (Neverfail/Osterman Research). As for attitudes to data breaches (2013 Information Risk Maturity Index), criticising others for faults you also possess is deeply rooted in human nature. What’s the best way to handle this? Let’s just say that truth, like charity, begins at home. Knowing what’s really going on in your own company is already a good start.