Can your business survive a disaster?

It is your ultimate safety net.

A hot topic today is the bird flu, with newspapers giving it extensive coverage while businesses are urgently preparing contingency plans to address the possibility of a pandemic affecting their employees. Also in the news were stories about floods affecting the northern and eastern states of Peninsular Malaysia in recent months and Shah Alam two weeks ago. Before that, it was the haze blanketing parts of Malaysia. In direct response to the disasters, emergency measures were put into place.

Business continuity management (BCM), however, should not be something you come up with only when disaster strikes.

BCM should be part of an organisation's risk-mitigation efforts and must be embedded into its corporate governance framework.

There are three key components to BCM: people, infrastructure and plan — in that order.

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This article first appeared in The Edge on 6 March, 2006.