The Institute of Directors in southern Africa (IoDSA) is the custodian of the King reports on good governance and acts as a driver to persuade companies to implement governance best practices throughout their organisations. The recent King III report is the latest of these governance best practice guidelines and contains a number of game-changing recommendations that affect large and small businesses.
As the driver of governance and compliance in southern Africa, the IoDSA realised it had to lead by example. To accomplish this, the organisation embarked on an internal drive to implement business continuity management (BCM) internally to ensure it could continue operations in the event of a disaster.
Angela Oosthuizen, COO of the IoDSA, says the organisation realised that even as a small company it needed to be ahead of the game in terms of compliance. The IoDSA is based in Gauteng, with satellite offices in Durban and Cape Town. It currently has 4 500 directors as members and 19 full-time staff.
“Governance is a crucial discipline for directors today, not only from the point of being able to recover operations in emergencies, but also from a customer and shareholder perspective,” Oosthuizen says. “A company’s stakeholders need to know their investment is safe and suppliers need to know their business will still receive what it needs should a disaster occur.
“Our goal is to have a turnaround time of between 48 hours and five days to be running at full capacity should a disaster completely disable our normal operations. ContinuitySA was called in to partner with the IoDSA to develop and implement the business continuity plan.”
“ContinuitySA has a long relationship with the IoDSA,” says Derek Taylor, business development manager at ContinuitySA. “We are a strategic partner to the IoD through its Director’s Lifestyle Programme, where we participate to make directors aware of the role and importance of BCM in organisations.
“Apart from its role in creating awareness of Business Continuity, the company has also been appointed to provide training to the IoDSA’s members.”
To date the organisation has completed a Business Impact Analysis (BIA), formulated its BCM strategy and developed a draft Business Continuity plan with ContinuitySA. The next step will be to finalise the plan, ensure staff understand what is required of them and then put all the processes into place as part of the IoDSA’s standard policies and procedures.
ContinuitySA’s senior consultant, Rodney Gibbon explains that the company’s consulting role with the IoDSA provided three services. First, for the BIA, ContinuitySA met with the IoDSA’s management committee to assess the potential impact if each of the organisation’s business processes was unavailable over an extended period.
The second service was the development of a BCM strategy in which the processes identified above are matched with the resources they rely on. The three primary resources in most cases are people, IT and location, although individual processes have their own, unique make-up. ContinuitySA also offered the IoDSA a recovery site with ten seats and IT services in its Midrand recovery centre.
The third step was to develop the continuity plans for the IoDSA according to ContinuitySA’s proven methodology. This included:
* A management plan,
* A coordination plan,
* A damage assessment plan,
* A business unit recovery plan, and
* An IT recovery plan, which will be completed by the IoDSA’s outsourced IT service provider.
“With the plan developed to international Business Continuity standards in place, all that will remain is to test it to determine what weaknesses still need to be ironed out to ensure we are able to continue operations when disaster strikes,” says Oosthuizen.