Risk management may have climbed the corporate agenda, but UK organisations, from blue chips to SMEs, retain a haphazard, departmental-based approach to business continuity that is not only wasting money but damaging business value.

The issue is no longer simply ensuring business continuity in the event of a major catastrophe, but the creation of strategies that underpin and can help formulate good business practice.

These are strategies that, for example, will mitigate the damage of a high profile employee dismissal case, non-compliance to financial or other legislation or failure to meet contractual supplier obligations.

Many organisations are investing significant money and resources in risk management, but a disparate approach to separate business continuity issues will never create the consistent strategy required.

Someone has to take central control. For large organisations, that will mean creating a board level role: the risk director. He will be tasked with co-ordinating risk assessment and mitigation across the business, and gearing all key processes towards business continuity.

Without this role, organisations will struggle to demonstrate to their trading partners and customers that they are safe to do business with.

Graeme Howe
Event director
Business Continuity Expo 2005 &
Technology for Compliance 2005