Whatever happened to Kodak? How to avoid your Kodak moment.
The Eastman Kodak Company was once a household name and was the premier brand associated with film makers, photographers and house hold camera the world over. However on the 19th January 2012 Kodak filed for Bankruptcy protection as it had completely failed to digitally transform in the face of new camera technology. The irony is that Kodak was a technology company, but were the contributing factors to their UK demise?
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
Kodak was once the darling of the film world, a brand cinematographers insisted upon for their latest blockbuster movies. Early domination in the industry from Oscar winning features as early as Cleopatra in 1963 and thereafter meant that Kodak enjoyed the kind of industry domination that many companies can only dream of. Following legislation introduced in 2002 (Sarbanes Oxley) that required companies in the US, and also their UK subsidiaries, to plan for business failure the business continuity community went into overdrive and embarked on a slew of work with businesses throughout the UK which often resulted in little more than a box ticking exercise.
This apparent lack of addressing business continuity planning as a serious exercise was essentially a gamble on the future of the UK subsidiary, a high stakes game of risk that amounted to a serious failure of the business to effectively plan for a disaster. The real lack of foresight however was the location of the Kodak office in Buncefield – directly opposite an oil refinery which exploded in 2005. As Kodak had invested in a disaster recovery plan, the responsibility fell upon the IT team to invoke the plan – only to discover that the disaster recovery plan lay in the safe, in the building basement, which had a collapsed building on it.
It couldn’t happen to your business.
Could it? After waiting three months to be able to enter the building, Kodak failed to recover and essential resources were diverted from digitally transforming the business. Subsequently, in struggling to recover business as usual operations, Kodak were overwhelmed and just five years later the business entered bankruptcy. The lessons learned should resonate with all – don’t treat business continuity planning as merely a box ticking exercise.
When did you last test your business continuity plan?
A plan is only effective if it actually works, and the only way to know it works is to implement it – regularly. As obvious as this sounds, when was the last time you tested your business continuity plan? At First Solution, we implement Service Delivery Plan’s for all our clients aligned to Quarterly Business Reviews. Our managed services include full Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery planning services and solutions, designed to help lower costs and reduce risk.
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