"If you have an efficient response, you'll have an effective recovery," So says Raelene Wong, director of global business continuity planning (BCP) at Applied Materials, a leading nanomanufacturing technology firm based in Santa Clara, CA.
"Ninety-eight percent of events are going to be handled at the response level," says Wong
says the focus on prevention has resulted in a "dramatic" 25 to 30 percent decrease in incidents overall and that the ERT and BCP components
"complement each other perfectly."
Sustaining Executive Support
On to the business continuity program.
Established in 1997, the program has "outstanding executive support," says Wong
"A lot of organizations struggle with that, but our executives are right there with us.
We have executive sponsors, and we do at least an annual exercise with our executive team."
The program was established by the board of directors and resides in "corporate asset services, which includes many of the foundation and infrastructure support groups," says Wong
"It's a really good fit."
maintains the relationship with top execs by being a trusted source of information.
strives to be out in front of crises.
"The last thing I want is for my boss to ask me what's happened and to have that message coming down from his
Wong inherited a solid program when she joined the company four years ago, but as there's always room for improvement, she has focused on "expanding and strengthening our corporate policy to ensure that the organizations know exactly what is expected of them.
also works with general managers to help guide the selection of BC coordinators.
provides "a profile of skill sets," such as effective verbal and written communication skills and outstanding project management skills.
"They also have to be respected within their organization.
That has proven to really be helpful" she
"If they are known as a go-getter or the go-to person, that's a real plus.
Nice-to-haves include some sort of emergency response experience, or possibly a quality or engineering background."
says that although plans are standardized, they are not "boilerplate."
is especially proud of the tests and exercises her
"We do fairly aggressive exercises.
That's one of the things I feel strongly about.
You don't always have events, and we've been pretty lucky.," which makes practicing all the more important, she