Monday, June 7, 2010

Business Continuity Planning and...Zombies?

Now here is a fascinating way to look at disaster planning...

Zombie Attack!
Author: Buffy Rojas June 2009

A real risk? Maybe not, but there are actual lessons to learn from this fictional threat. And using a zombie attack as an exercise scenario or the kick-off for a brainstorming session might help make business continuity cool (gasp!) or even fun for change.

“Zombie Attack: Applying Business Continuity Professional Practices to Attacks by the Undead” was a surprise hit at the 2009 Continuity Insights Management Conference, with speaker Scot Phelps (see pages 8 and 34) receiving rave reviews for his session based on the New York Times bestseller World War Z. The talk was especially timely as the book’s zombie outbreak was the result of a virus.

World War Z’s basic premise is that the world is overrun by the undead. They don’t bleed, breathe, or think. They don’t plan. They aren’t organized. They are a threat but don’t target anyone personally. They just want to eat flesh. To kill one, you must destroy its brain. The zombie outbreak begins in China, which tries to keep mum and control the spread. That, of course, fails miserably, the virus spreads worldwide, and most countries (including the U.S.) also fail miserably in their response, moving slowly, getting hung up on politics, and relying on familiar tactics rather than fresh thinking.

“Everything in World War Z is based in reality...well, except the zombies,” says author Max Brooks. “But seriously, everything else in the book is either taken from reality or 100 percent real. The technology, politics, economics, culture, military tactics... it was a lot of homework.”