Business Continuity Planning (BCP) testing trends

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Last Thursday, we sponsored the CityIQ conference held in the Museum of London. There were four sessions during the day, each looking in depth at a different challenge facing the world of investment management and financial services.

The first session looked at industry trends in Business Continuity Planning (BCP). This included how budgets are changing; pinpointing which activities are likely to see increased investment; the use of third party providers for standby work place or IT resilience / recovery; the impact the Cloud has had on recovery strategies and business continuity challenges in the year ahead.

It also covered interesting developments in business continuity testing. For example, organisations were reporting a feeling of testing fatigue in crisis management and business continuity. In a survey of over 40 organisations in the financial services sector around a third of the respondents had not tested their crisis management plans. This was despite increased pressure from the regulator to test and was significantly down on the 2012 results where 94% of companies reported that they had tested their business continuity plans.

On top of that, over a quarter of the people surveyed think that if they use technology to reduce the risk of failure (such as live-live balancing), there is no need to test for continuity. The reasoning goes that if it works now, it will work in a Disaster Recovery (DR) situation. Sadly this is not true. Very often there are problems with accounts, scalability and licences.

Finally, evidence was presented showing that where business continuity plans are not tested they frequently don’t work. No surprise there. And even less surprisingly, human factors contributed to impact of failure. This included lack of awareness of what was required and lack of readiness to implement recovery processes (both of which are mitigated by testing and dress rehearsals).

If you’d like more information on this session, or on Disaster Recovery Testing and Business Continuity Testing, please contact us

We’ll be providing more information on other sessions at this conference in future postings in this blog.

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