Thursday, 24 October 2013

Drivers for the employment of BCI members in large UK companies

Patrick Roberts
Cambridge Risk Solutions

Ever since becoming involved in the profession, nearly ten years ago, I have been constantly intrigued by the attitude of different organisations towards business continuity. Simplistically, I began by assuming that large well known companies, with both assets and reputation to protect would be universally receptive to the idea of BCM, but (painful) experience has taught me that this is not the case. Equally, since starting our own BCM consultancy in the east of England, we have been surprised by the number of very small organisations that have asked us for assistance, organisations that we would never have considered approaching as potential clients. The same surprising pattern is borne out if you look at the firms which are certified to BS 2599, and are now certifying to ISO 22301. It is a curious mixture of large household names and much smaller firms.

My presentation at the BCI World Conference and Exhibition is based on PhD research conducted at Nottingham University Business School, and attempts to understand these differing attitudes towards BCM in a more formal way. The starting point of the study is the observation, based on data provided by the BCI in 2011, that only 70 firms in the FTSE 350 actually employed a member of the BCI at that time. The research then goes on to explore the relationship between various observable characteristics of these large publicly quoted companies and the likelihood of them employing BCI members. A broad range of possible drivers are identified from reviewing previous work on risk management and from specific consideration of the aims and objectives of BCM.

The main finding is that, at least within these large UK companies, the employment of BCI members appears to be primarily driven by the expectations and demands of external stakeholders such as lenders and regulators. I’m not sure how much this insight helps me in targeting our marketing efforts more effectively, but it has certainly helped to make sense of some of the patterns that we have observed over the years and I look forward to sharing more insights with you in November.

Patrick will be discussing this issue further in his Practitioner Presentation at the BCM World Conference and Exhibition. The Practitioner Presentations are part of the seminar programme at the free exhibition.

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