May 19, 2020

The Importance of a Business Continuity Plan

British Standards Institution
Bizclik Editor
5 min
The Importance of a Business Continuity Plan


With the global economic recovery stagnant and businesses experiencing budget challenges, BSI revealed their top five tips for organizations to ensure they are prepared for any type of disruption including social, political and economic threats.

The tips, which coincide with the release of a new standard for business continuity management (BCM), ISO 22301 - an evolution from the internationally recognized British Standard BS 25999 - outline an approach to implement precautionary measures against issues such as strikes, mass supply chain disruption, political unrest and customer loss.

Preparing a business continuity and survival strategy heads the list of tips from BSI’s internationally renowned panel of experts to beat the threats. Managing organizational balance sheets and conducting full risk assessments are also recommended with a view to ensuring businesses don’t just look at internal processes, but also the management of its key suppliers.

BSI has also urged businesses to follow international best practices and adopt a systematic approach to testing and exercising BCM plans with senior management buy in. “Not enough of today’s organizations exercise their business continuity. It doesn’t matter what size business you operate, if you don’t exercise your plans, you put your business and its employees at risk,” says Gary Robinson, Commercial Director, BSI Canada.  “Our clients who have adopted a holistic approach to BCM reported an 82 per cent improvement in their speed of recovery from incidents and disruptions."[1]

Environmental incidents over the last 12 months, including severe weather and natural disasters across the globe, have led to greater awareness and a shift in attitudes towards business continuity management. Now with the global economy continuing to be turbulent, BSI is urging organizations to bring the issue of business continuity management higher up the boardroom agenda and prepare for the potential fall outs from political instability, social unrest and economic meltdown.

BSI recently sponsored the renowned Chartered Management Institute’s (CMI) report, “Planning for the worst”[2] which shows clear advantages for organizations that have business continuity plans in place to deal with incidents and crises when they hit. Of those who had to activate plans in 2011, 82 per cent said BCM enabled their organization to return to normal operations more quickly, while 81 per cent agreed it reduced disruption.

The report also identifies corporate governance as the biggest external driver for BCM. As well as providing assurance that an organization will be able to continue its daily operations, implementation of such standards will also help businesses to address the more strategic aspects of BCM such as the potential threats to their supply chains.

Rick Cudworth, Chair of the BSI Technical Committee for Business Continuity in the United Kingdom, said: “This new business continuity standard is a significant step forward. It will simplify the task of planning for the unexpected and empower organizations to react in a timely fashion when difficulties arise. With the standard being accepted internationally, it will allow for a collaborative approach, across the globe. The success and sustainability of a business is highly dependent on the prevention plans that are embedded within the organization. These not only define the organization’s ability to serve customers in the event of disruption, but also demonstrate a duty of care to its staff no matter what happens.”

Dave Austin, Director at Operational Resilience (Oprel) Ltd in the United Kingdom commented: “The new standard brings international consensus on best practice in the key discipline of business continuity management and for the first time, organizations across the globe will be able to demonstrate their capability to interested parties and top management through accredited certification. It builds upon and will supersede the immensely successful specification on BCM.”

As the world at large continues to deal an unexpected hand to organizations of all shapes and sizes, BSI states that simply buying the new ISO standard will not be enough. With the CMI report citing that only 22 per cent of organizations actually conduct a full emergency scenario to test out their BCM plan, it is evident that organizations still have a long way to go before BCM is fully embraced and the benefits of planning excellence are reaped.

BSI’s top five tips for embedding Business Continuity Management in an organization’s culture

  • Make sure senior management are continually involved and engaged in Business Continuity. They have the most comprehensive view of the organization and their support will ensure Business Continuity is taken seriously.
  • Don’t skip on exercising and testing, short of a real incident this is the best way to find the holes in your plans, with the advantage that your customers won’t read about it in the press or social media.
  • Undertake a thorough risk assessment and business impact analysis and include all dependencies - be outward, as well as inward looking, in particular looking further down your supply chain.
  • Implement a systematic approach to business continuity ensuring the currency of BCM.
  • Follow international best practices - why reinvent the wheel when hundreds of experts have helped develop a BCM best practice approach that works and is recognized internationally?

About BSI

BSI (British Standards Institution) is a global organization that equips businesses with the necessary solutions to turn standards of best practice into habits of excellence. Formed in 1901, BSI was the world’s first National Standards Body and a founding member of the International Organization of Standardization (ISO). Over a century later it continues to facilitate business improvement across the globe by helping its clients drive performance, reduce risk and grow sustainably through the adoption of international management systems standards, many of which BSI originated.

BSI is a trusted partner to industry and government with a focus to support their business objectives through the transfer of knowledge of best practices, assurance services to identify and measure performance indicators, training services to aid the building of organizational competency and enable continual improvement, and the tools to monitor, enhance and report on compliance against the organization's management system objectives. With over 64,000 clients in 147 countries, BSI is an organization whose standards inspire excellence across the globe. 

For more information about the business continuity management systems standard visit:

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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