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Survey results: Is business continuity management morphing into organizational resilience?

Continuity Central recently conducted a quick survey into whether there is a change in business terminology taking place: from business continuity management to organizational resilience. The survey was a follow up to an article in which Lyndon Bird, the technical director of the Business Continuity Institute, claimed that such a development is under way.

306 respondents took part in the online survey which was conducted using Survey Monkey.

The results show that just over half of respondents (53.27 percent) agree that a terminology change from business continuity management to organizational resilience is taking place. 32.03 percent of respondents disagree and 14.71 percent don't know.

However, when respondents were asked about their own organization, the situation was somewhat different, with only 29.74 percent of respondents stating that their organization was starting to use 'organizational resilience' rather than 'business continuity management' terminology. 67.32 percent said that their organization was still using business continuity management terminology; and 2.94 percent didn't know.

Finally the survey asked respondents whether 'organizational resilience' and 'business continuity management' are simply two names for the same process. A third (33.66 percent) think that they are two names for the same thing, while 62.09 percent believe that they are different processes.

Given that this survey was prompted by an article by Lyndon Bird, Continuity Central asked Lyndon to respond to the above results. His comments are as follows:

“The results of the quick survey by Continuity Central are of great interest. They confirm that there is a perceived rapid change in terminology from BCM to organizational resilience but when asked about their own companies the majority of respondents have not yet made that change. This is not unusual; the change from DR to BCM took a decade to work through before most organizations accepted it and even today some do not.

“I was pleased, however, to see that most respondents (62.09 percent) felt that it was not just a re-branding issue and that there is something fundamentally different about organizational resilience. The debate has a long way to run but this snap survey suggests we know conceptually where we are headed in the future but relatively few of us are actively moving in that direction yet. Once the BC/resilience community has addressed the implications of question 3 of the survey (Are 'organizational resilience' and 'business continuity management' simply two names for the same process?) our route map and destination will be clearer and the change will become more marked.”

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Reader comments

I think the ‘is business continuity management morphing into organizational resilience?’ question is becoming a worrying trend within the BC community at the moment which appears to be gaining momentum. BCM is important but just a part of an organization becoming resilient. I would say to anyone attempting to push this agenda, to look hard at their reasons why. I think there is a perception (justified in many cases) where BC is not appreciated within organizations, that is until there is a serious incident or disaster. This negative perception appears to be one of the key reasons for using the term ’organizational resilience’, which will magically create interest and ‘buy-in’ at the senior management level. If BCM is to become organizational resilience, then it will have to go through a major overhaul conforming to the guidance outlined in the BS65000 standard; or we just accept BCM for what it is under ISO22301 and determine which other disciplines, such as crisis management, emergency management, etc are essential in fulfilling the organizational resilience requirement.

Gary Dugmore

In response to the amazing statistic that a third (33.66 percent) of respondents to your survey think that business continuity and resilience are two names for the same thing, I would ask a simple question:

Did anyone expect the business continuity (resilience) manager of retailer Phones 4U to have a plan to stop the company going into administration putting 5,596 jobs and more than 700 outlets at risk?

Business continuity is a part of resilience, it's not the same thing.

To use an analogy, would anyone seriously suggest that catering is the same thing as warfare? It is a necessary part of warfare as soldiers need to be fed, but it is not warfare.

Mel Gosling

•Date: 15th October 2014 • World •Type: Article • Topic: BC statistics
UPDATED 21ST OCTOBER

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