BCI Working Papers

The Business Continuity Institute

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In 2014, the Business Continuity Institute launched a new service called the Working Paper Series, with a new paper published each quarter covering an issue of concern to business continuity and resilience professionals. The papers are not necessarily new BCI originated thought leadership, rather they are designed to be an objective appraisal of current thinking on a particular topic, drawing on new material published by academics, subject matter experts or appropriate professional bodies.

The papers that have been published so far are:

2017 Quarter 1 – Our deep misunderstanding of time in preparedness planning

It seems impossible to think about preparedness planning without thinking about time. In this edition of the Working Paper Series, David Lindstedt offers an alternative argument pertaining to preparedness planning, arguing that time is not a target but a constraint. This paper challenges our thinking associated with preparedness planning and encourages fellow professionals to explore how the theoretical arguments posed translate into practice.

2016 Quarter 4 – The desktop exercise - a wasted opportunity?

In this edition of the Working Paper Series, Luke Bird MBCI focuses on improving desktop exercises, and poses numerous challenges to business continuity practitioners, suggesting concrete, actionable recommendations to enable organizations to obtain more value out of these exercises. His paper contributes to practice as it focuses on the delivery of desktop exercises, enabling fellow practitioners to consider their own arrangements and introduce improvements.

2016 Quarter 3 – The effect of pandemic transmission speed on business continuity

In this edition of the Working Paper Series, Dezheng Yuan AFBCI uses three simplified financial models to elaborate on the impact of pandemic transmission speed to the business continuity of organizations and advised solutions. Dezheng explains how slower pandemic transmission speed could enable more effective cross-region back-up plans of organizations which could reduce financial losses.

2016 Quarter 2 – Horizon scanning post-Brexit: What should businesses prepare for?

In this edition of the Working Paper Series, the BCI's Research Assistant – Gianluca Riglietti, notes how the leave vote could result in changes to the regulations that govern our organizations, as well as implications on staffing, supply chains and cyber security. In this climate, businesses need to think and clearly identify their vulnerabilities linked to Brexit. Firms will need to have plans on how to adjust in order to thrive.

2016 Quarter 1 – Digital business requires digital business continuity

Cyber resilience is a topic of interest among practitioners as evidenced by the wealth of research on the subject. In this edition of the Working Paper Series, Rudy Muls MBCI draws from his extensive experience as a practitioner, to relate cyber resilience to its implications to business continuity practice by referring to the BCM Lifecycle. He further demonstrates possible opportunities for collaborating with our information security counterparts.

2015 Quarter 4 – Terrorism as a lasting threat and its implications to practitioners’ view on risk

The threat of terrorism looms over many societies and has been a considerable source of concern for professionals in the protective disciplines. Tim Jordan’s paper, originally produced as a postgraduate academic submission, captures this tension quite well. He discusses implications to the understanding of risk from a practitioner’s perspective, highlighting that terrorism is a persistent phenomenon. This is an important premise as it influences business continuity, the way we analyse the business impact of certain risks and our responsibility in making our organizations resilient.

2015 Quarter 3 – Cyber supply chain resilience: A business continuity approach

Cyber threats to the supply chain have become increasingly prevalent due to the extensive sharing of digital information between a company and its suppliers. With changing geopolitical landscapes and the rise of new global powers, outsourcing activities present new and more complex challenges to businesses. This paper highlights the importance of business continuity to supply chain cyber security and uses case studies and experience to address the threat and suggest a way forward.

2015 Quarter 2 – The strategic value of business continuity: Integrating BC into an organization’s strategic plan

In this edition of the Working Paper Series, Dr Clifford Ferguson explores the issue of strategic value and offers a way forward by integrating business continuity into an organization’s strategic plan. Dr Ferguson concludes that business continuity should be both a cost saver and a strategic risk reduction tool. It cannot be independent from the corporate strategy and should be embedded into the organizational value system.

2015 Quarter 1 – Business continuity challenges within the non-profit sector

Business continuity is not just for businesses – public sector organizations and third sector organizations are perhaps just as likely to be affected by a disruptive event as any private sector organization. So are non-profits doing enough to protect the way they operate? In this edition of the Working Paper Series, Rina Bhakta CBCI discusses how there is a lack of shared knowledge on the way business continuity works in the non-profit sector. She argues that while there are various standards and benchmarking from other industries, it can be difficult to relate it to non-profits because a lot of it is not applicable.

2014 Quarter 4 – Conceptualising organisational resilience

In this edition of the Working Paper Series, Patrick Alcantara and Tim Jordan interrogate the literature behind organisational resilience and relate its implications to business continuity practitioners. The paper sets out the notion of resilience as described in other fields and examines its similarities with the emerging concept of organisational resilience. It also surveys current standards, good practice guidelines and research that may help in the practical understanding of organisational resilience.

2014 Quarter 3 – A quantitative analysis of selected variables in the 2013 Supply Chain Resilience Survey

This paper aims to show the relationships between the number of suppliers, the frequency and cost of disruption whilst not necessarily pointing out to causation. The paper focusses on the general influence of the number of suppliers whilst not stating specifically which particular level affects the frequency and cost of disruption the most. Further studies are required to fully examine the relationship of an organisation’s number of suppliers with other factors. Nonetheless, this study is a good starting point for better quantitative analysis of this data set.

2014 Quarter 2 – A brief review of cyber risk literature

This brief survey of cyber risk literature covers selected publications released during the first quarter of 2014. It seeks to capture the current state of knowledge in cyber risk and distils emerging trends within the cyber threat landscape, the governance and management of cyber risk, among others. It does not aim to become a definitive cyber risk resource owing to the breadth of literature in the discipline; however, it brings together many threads in current discourse in an attempt to further research.