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    Business continuity planning vital for survival says IMCA

    Organisations and Associations // July 22, 2010
    In the face of all types of disasters, it is imperative that companies ensure their survival. Disasters include weather events such as flood or hurricanes, but a pandemic could also be a threat. Companies need to consider how they would carry on safely and efficiently were a disaster to strike, and knock out fundamental parts of their communication infrastructure, perhaps through flooding of the IT headquarters, or remove the ability to communicate or manage, through the significant absence of personnel due to a pandemic.
    “Our members need to consider this subject in the light of their own circumstances,” explains Hugh Williams, Chief Executive of the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA). “This may include the need to continue communication with, and management of, a number of sites 24/7, whether they are a sea-going fleet or shore-based facility.
    “It would be difficult to write concise guidance for business continuity planning that would be appropriate for all our members, and there is already good guidance available. Our Security Task Force has instead written a high level information note based on members’ experience and advice from consultants.”
    An approximate guide to the necessity of business continuity planning is taken from one consultant’s information who stated that 20 per cent of companies had a major failure affecting business continuity every five years; 90 per cent of failures resulted from IT; 90 per cent had at least one security breach in two years; and 70 per cent were affected by a systems downtime at least once a year at an average cost of £52k per hour.
    IMCA SEL 12/10 is generic but gives some major pointers toward what considerations should be made – such as outsourcing, control of the supply chain, transport and a variety of other risks and common failures - when developing a business continuity plan and links to existing guidance. Like all IMCA Information Notes, this information is readily available to IMCA’s growing membership – there are well over 650 member companies in more than 50 countries.
    Further information on IMCA is available at  and from the Association at 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0AU, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521; email:

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