BCM and The Lord of the Rings

Often, corporations put all their faith into one thing to ensure their programs work: technology.  This isn’t always the case for too much faith in one thing will mean no focus or dedication provided to another.  This will ultimately give a false sense of confidence in an organizations BCM capabilities and ultimately come back to hurt them during times of a disaster or major crisis. 

The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien, illustrates the point of focusing on one component in an excellent fashion.  Who would have thought you could tie stories of hobbits and middle earth together?  The character Gollum – or Smeagle, his real name – illustrates the single focus viewpoint.  In the books, Gollum only sees the one ring of power and has spent his life – hundreds of years – living his life for the ring and only the ring.  He killed his best friend for it.  He lived in isolation for it.  He devoted all his efforts for it, even trying to lead others to their doom to get the ring; Sam and Frodo.  But in the end that one focus, that one central perspective got him killed.  How does this translate to BCM? 

Replace Gollum with any corporation and replace the ring with technology and technology infrastructure.  Company’s put all their faith, hopes and dreams into technology but if you ignore people aspects – communications, continuity plans etc – you’re setting yourself up for failure.  It’s one thing to have big binders with colourful graphs and detailed recovery steps but if there’s no knowledge of how to acquire these binders, what’s in them, who need them, when they are used or how to communicate the disaster in the first place – that binder detailing how to build a technology infrastructure won’t mean anything.  Is it worth having the greatest Technology Recovery Plan (TRP) but having no one available at the time of disaster to get his or her hands on a copy and use it?

Back to Gollum; was life worth living alone after the death of his friend all for power of a ring that couldn’t be welded?  Let’s let those that study the philosophy of The Lord of the Rings discuss that.  In corporate terms, is it worth focusing on one aspect of the program – technology – when technology can only do what people ‘tell’ it to do, which is the component of BCM that many organizations leave out. 

People and technology must be exercised in conjunction if a BCM program is to grow and become strong and resilient.  Neither can operate very long – if at all – without the other, so no company can afford to focus solely on one program aspect.  The entire program must receive focus for it to be successful.



One thought on “BCM and The Lord of the Rings

  1. Lord of The Rings. The peoples of Middle Earth (the corporation) are threatened with the return of Sauron (impending disaster). The wizard Gandalf states that the leader of his order Saruman will know what to do. However when Gandalf contacts Saruman in this grave emergency he finds that Saruman is ‘incommunicado-or unavailable’ due to unforseen circumstances. The protagonists, left without a plan spend most of the rest of the tale reacting to circumstances rather than taking planned action and nearly lose Middle Earth in the process.

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