One aspect of business life that is often overlooked is Business Continuity and Resilience – the planning and operational procedures that will ensure that businesses are not unduly vulnerable to external threat from a wide range of factors that range from fire or flood to terrorist attack. Vulnerability affects not just the companies concerned, but has knock-on effects across the local business community where customers or suppliers are otherwise critically affected – a lesson that is important to Virtual Viewing’s MD, Stewart Bailey, who has recently been appointed to the Lead Team of Milton Keynes Business Resilience Forum (MKBRF). Piers Benn, Strategic Risk and Business Continuity Manager, Milton Keynes Council, welcomed the appointment, saying: “Stewart Bailey will bring valued insight and expertise to the Team”.
Milton Keynes Council, working with the Business Continuity Institute, set up the MKBRF in 2008 to offer support for local businesses as they plan for the possible loss of key staff, IT systems and infrastructure or business premises. One of the more comprehensive of such local networks to be established, MKBRF brings together the collective expertise of consumers and suppliers of resilience advice and provides a support network for any organisation considering possible threats to its immediate or long-term future.
It offers member organisations a free mentoring scheme, which helps businesses take their first steps to develop a business continuity plan and see how to manage business continuity, and closer relations with the emergency services through Forum meetings, pooling information about local and regional threats and supporting learning about local response procedures and good practice. Other activities include presentations, case studies, visits, discussions, and critical incident response exercises.
MKBRF will also shortly be actively involved in piloting the counter-terrorism Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool (VSAT) that has been developed by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) in collaboration with the Federation of Small Business (FSB). VSAT will provide businesses of any size with specific advice on how to identify and reduce their vulnerabilities, and protect their premises from terrorist attacks. This is another important business-centric development in which Virtual Viewing has been instrumental in developing key media, designing the VSAT logo and currently working further with NaCTSO to produce an introductory video.