Specialist back-up centres designed to provide business continuity resources in the wake of a terrorist incident may be worthless, warns Moore Stephens
The insurance industry should be alarmed that specialist back-up centres designed to provide business continuity resources in the wake of the recent security alerts in the UK, may be worthless as a result of an over-concentration of demand, accountant and consultant Moore Stephens has insisted.
Likening the possible scenario to the commercial and emotional havoc created in the case of over-selling of airline seats on package holidays, Simon Gallagher, head of the Moore Stephens Industry Group, said: “Experience has shown, particularly in the wake of the July 7 bombing attacks on London in 2005, that, in simple terms, there are just not enough seats available at some of these back-up centres.
“The UK insurance industry is under particular pressure to put in place effective, practical business continuity plans, not least because of the requirement on them to do so by the Financial Services Authority. And while the idea of independent organisations renting out recovery centres for an annual fee is a very good one, in some instances these centres have been put to the test and have failed.
“The whole point about business continuity is that it requires strategic planning, and it needs to reflect the lessons learned from painful experience
Alan Tidy, a business continuity expert at Moore Stephens
Alan Tidy, a business continuity expert at Moore Stephens, added: “The goalposts have moved so far as this issue is concerned. As recently as five years ago, the big concern was whether firms had any sort of business continuity planning in place. Now, studies carried out by the likes of the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, and the Business Continuity Institute, have established that most firms do have some form of planning in place, but that subsequent events have identified the weaknesses in those plans.
“The whole point about business continuity is that it requires strategic planning, and it needs to reflect the lessons learned from painful experience. The recent bomb incidents in the UK will provide still more pointers in that respect.”