Ensuring business continuity is a key part of everyone’s role

Blog post   •   Nov 17, 2016 11:33 GMT

How time flies, I cannot believe it’s been two years since I contributed to the Business Continuity Institute’s20 in their 20s’ publication. I’ve been in my current role for just over a year, working as a Payments Risk Manager. Whilst I no longer work with the business continuity team in Operational Resilience, BC still features as part of my remit and I am accountable for BC to the Payments Division. This includes ensuring our testing capabilities are mapped, mission critical activities are documented but also, starting to consider the resiliency of our payment services we offer as an organization.

I’d say my outlook on BC remains unchanged in the sense that I entirely value the importance of a good BCM framework and the responsibilities that support it. Equally, culture is something I massively champion in my current role and needless to say, ‘always on’ is the expectation which helps culture to evolve and mature. In my opinion, the financial services industry has responded brilliantly to the challenges faced by customer expectation, and resiliency is a key factor to ensuring we always meet those needs. Whether it be bolstering third party relationships with robust governance, to installing huge change programmes to improve IT and value chain resiliency, every financial services organization is switched on to protecting their corporate objectives as we move swiftly into the arena of innovation and digital payments.

I’ll always have a fond place in my heart for business continuity and maybe one day, I’ll find myself in a BC exclusive role again… but for now, I’m having too much fun in Payments!

Within an organization of size, you’re always going to struggle to get culture right for different initiatives. The general top down approach works well, but there’s a lot to be said for cross collaboration over different divisions and peer level interdependencies. The market also has a great stake in the corporate objectives, be it throwing the light on conduct and good customer outcomes or a competitor experiencing a widespread incident. Those ‘big ticket items’ will always prompt activity and focus and, in a way, the culture of the organization has no choice but to move with the times.

For BC in particular, it can be tough to get traction if the business has experienced calm waters for a while. The problem with that is, it doesn’t necessarily bring a call to action to the forefront of people’s minds and culture can suffer as a result. However, we’re in a different world now to where we were as an industry five years ago – IT estates are not only crucial but expectant to be fully resilient to ensure the customer expectation is met, and businesses have been purposefully carving out strategies to evolve business and IT resilience; within which, BC is a core component. In doing so, embedding the culture of business continuity becomes less cumbersome, more like a business-as-usual activity and a key part of everyone’s role.

Scarlett Morgan has worked for Nationwide Building Society for many years and in that time has worked in operations, transformation, business continuity, payments risk and technical services. In her new and current role, Scarlett works as a Development Specialist in Payments, driving process improvements and embedding corporate governance into the functions of the team.