An investigation into Business Continuity Plan (BCP) failure during a disaster event
This thesis examines what a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) should comprise off, as well as the difference between a BCP and a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) and the key elements of an effective BCP as well as the different types of disasters. It also investigates why companies that have BCP in place and conducts testing of their plan on a regular basis, either quarterly or bi-annually, still experience prolonged downtime during a disaster resulting in Service Level Agreements (SLA) not being met or major financial loses. It also inspects acceptable processes within a BCP to determine whether there are ways of improving these processes to prevent companies from experiencing prolonged downtime. The objective of this research is to determine and understand: Why organisations within the Western Cape experience prolonged downtimes during a disaster event. The potential deficiencies in a BCP and how they can be amended. A case study of four companies based in the Western Cape was conducted. These companies were chosen because each of them has a BCP in place and each have experienced prolonged downtime during a disaster. Qualitative interviews with the aid of an open-ended questionnaire were used to interview the BCP or Risk Manager of each company. The data was analysed to determine what the causes of their prolonged downtime were during a disaster. In the analysis and findings process each company is presented as a separate case study. The intension with this research study is to add an additional concept to the Common BCP Process that was identified within this study and that formed the basis for the Conceptual Framework, thereby reducing the downtime during a disaster for the companies that formed part of the research.