IT servers, enterprise applications, data centres and cloud services might seem world away from other sectors traditionally attracting attention in terms of a ethical sourcing strategy.
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I don’t know about you, but right now all of my social media feeds are full of photos of early holiday decorations, descriptions of many communities’ first snows, and chatter over what stores are going to have the best sales on Black Friday. It’s the week before Thanksgiving and so these things have essentially become tradition.
That first snow? That just happened in places like my hometown in New York and in the southeast. Schools were closed or had delayed openings. It’s served as a rude awakening that it’s not summer anymore. (I know that I was definitely one of the people that were in denial about winter coming.)
With that inevitably happening and the holiday season about to start in just a matter of days, there are a few simple things that you can do right now to get yourself ready.
- If you’re heading out to visit family or friends, pack a few extra things like a first aid kit, a flashlight, and a spare charger for your phones or tablets. Those could come in quite handy in case of any kind of weather or delay in travel.
- If you’re the one preparing a delectable feast for Turkey Day (or any of the other upcoming holidays), make sure you’re being safe by keeping kiddos away from sharp objects and hot surfaces and cooking your bird all the way through. (Pro Tip: Our friends over at foodsafety.gov have some really helpful advice for making sure your meal is not only safe, but delicious as well.)
- Check out the Holiday Social Media Toolkit to help your friends and family be in the know about how they can have a safe and great holiday too.
This time of year is a wonderful one (even though many of us aren’t quite fans of the drop in temperatures) to spend with your friends, family, and loved ones. We would love to encourage you to do three more things: Be safe, eat well, and have a lovely holiday season.
--Jessica Stapf, Digital Storyteller at FEMA
The Business Continuity Institute - Nov 22, 2016 17:03 GMT
The Business Continuity Institute is delighted to announce that Tim Janes Hon. FBCI will be the new Vice Chair of the Board of Directors at the Institute, as voted for by his fellow members of the Global Membership Council. Tim takes over from James McAlister FBCI who becomes Chair following the end of David James-Brown FBCI’s two years in charge.
Tim, a Director at Risk Management Design in Australia, has previously served as one of the Membership Directors on the BCI Board, and as the representative for Australasia on the BCI's Global Membership Council.
On taking up the new role, Tim commented: "This is an exciting time to be elected as the new Vice Chair of the BCI. We have a new Executive Director and great plans for enhanced member services and international growth. Recent world events have shown how political, social and economic ‘certainties’ can be overturned. I think these conditions together, will present many opportunities for our profession to show how we help organisations to manage through unfamiliar, disruptive challenges. My goal is to help the BCI to provide practical and effective support for all members in this dynamic global environment."
Sixty-six percent of the general population has been traumatized at some point. Eighty percent of workers feel stressed on the job. When you combine a traumatic experience and stress, the risk for adverse workplace behaviors can be high. To combat this, emergency managers can collaborate with leadership and human resources to improve resiliency components and decrease stress among their teams.
There are different definitions of trauma. For example, the University of Maryland defines trauma as “an experience that causes physical, emotional, psychological distress or harm. It is an event that is perceived and experienced as a threat to one’s safety or to the stability of one’s world.” The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines trauma as “experiences that cause intense physical and psychological stress reactions, which could be a single event, multiple events, or a set of circumstances experienced by an individual as physically and emotionally harmful or threatening, and have long lasting effects to the individual.”
Yet many of the same issues like bribery, coercion, extortion, favouritism, and illegal sourcing are also potential risks in IT sourcing, both directly and indirectly.
Apple’s problems with Foxconn, its manufacturer of iPhones, illustrates the problem. Riots and suicides in the Taiwanese company’s workforce also tarnished Apple’s reputation. An IT sourcing strategy has to take ethical procurement into account if it wants to avoid similar problems.
An Example of What Not to Do
More organizations are realizing the benefits of mass communications and have implemented at least some type of solution to enable instant notifications with their employees. With so many people using mobile phones, it’s obvious that these notifications must involve mobile communication. Text alerts are gaining in popularity but not all text notifications are helpful. In fact, some can be detrimental to public safety.
Take, for instance, the New York City and New Jersey bombings that occurred earlier this year. Kudos to the states for having an emergency alert system in place to notify its residents of such threats, but instead of celebrating its success, it has become a case study in how NOT to send out mass notifications.
The FCC’s Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system was used to send short text messages to cell phone users in the NYC area alerting them to watch out for a bombing suspect named Ahmad Khan Rahami. Can you spot why this text was completely ineffective and even dangerous?
Successful IT project teams require a good balance of resources with different skills and perspectives. The best technical SME’s are creative problem solvers with experience operating in complex and nuanced environments. Great business PMs foster trusted relationships with stakeholders and ensure that their technical counterparts are supported. A powerful business tool is created when a unified team dynamic is fostered between the two skillsets.
A poorly aligned team can not only be stressful to manage; it also exposes the business to higher levels of risk. In these situations, organizations are susceptible to the following negative outcomes, among others.
- Rushed changes that don’t fully factor in people or technology impacts
- Delayed delivery because risks are too high and ownership is unclear
- Products that don’t focus on quality or usability
It's hard to believe Cyber Monday is only a week away. For many traditional and ecommerce retailers, Cyber Monday is the most significant online shopping day of the year. And it won’t stop there. Online shopping over the next few weeks will provide a significant boost to many companies’ bottom lines.
Monitoring and communicating information about IT outages and failures associated with online retail shopping can be a daunting task. At any time of the year, IT professionals are under intense pressure to safeguard the security of their organization’s data and physical facilities, and to ensure information continues flowing in the event of a disruption.