CASSANDRA (Continuity And Security for SMEs Active..
CASSANDRA (Continuity And Security for SMEs Active in Neutralizing Dangers and Risks affecting their Activities)
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015,
Date de fin: 31 août 2017
We want resilient SMEs!
CASSANDRA (Continuity And Security for SMEs Active in Neutralizing Dangers and Risks affecting their Activities) is a Strategic Partnership addressing the problems of poor awareness of the risks and threats to which the small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are exposed, and of poor operational resilience and business continuity.
The project partners emcra GmbH (Germany), Tournis Consulting (Greece), the Cyprus Project Management Society, T-SOFT (Czech Republic), the Regional Association of Craftmanship of the Italian region of South Tyrol (Landesverbands der Handwerker Bozen) and the German Institute of Business Consulting, Business Development and Business Research (IBWF) share the common vision of making Business Resilience disciplines known, accessible and affordable for virtually all small and micro-sized companies of the European Business Services sector.
Therefore CASSANDRA will deliver three SME-friendly outputs: an Awareness-Raising Tool, an Elementary Guide and an ICT-based on-the-job Training on Business Resilience. The ouputs will be compliant with the international standards ISO31000 (Risk Management), ISO22301 (Business Continuity) and ISO27001 (Information Security).
The methodology elaborated to achieve these objectives follows a classical path: (1) Pooling of Knowledge, (2) Conception of the Outputs, (3) Programming, (4) Testing, (5) Delivery and (6) Dissemination. In parallel, the project partners will also seek to ensure the Exploitation of the results through their certification or transfer into other economic contexts.
Why SMEs of the Business Services sector?
They are amongst the most concerned since 94% of the companies of this sector are micro-sized companies (less than 10 employees), and since 47% of the European micro-businesses have no form of business continuity plans in place. Yet, the Business Services sector is of strategical importance for the EU: it accounts for 11.7% of the EU economy, more than 20 million jobs, across 4 million enterprises. Above all, it is expected that this sector will create about one third of the total job opportunities to be created between 2013 and 2025. "Business Services" is a sector driven and defined by outsourcing: the sector ranges from professional services (such as management consultancy, accountancy and legal services) through technical services (such as design, engineering and architectural services) to operational support services (such as office leasing, labour recruitment and employment, security and industrial cleaning activities).
What is the background of the project?
"Risks" are probabilities of events that may have specific impacts which, if realized, could severely or lethally damage the capability of these SMEs to operate, provide their services and products to their customers and protect the interests of their stakeholders. Identifying, understanding and dealing with these risks by deploying appropriate measures, therefore minimizing their probabilities or the extent of their impact is called "Risk Management". Yet, deploying specific measures to mitigate risks may not always prevent negative incidents. In this case, SMEs need a strong "Operational Resilience" defined as the ability to absorb the impact of a business interruption, disruption or loss and continue to provide an acceptable level of service. This ability is not obtained by chance but is the observable result of "Business Continuity" strategies that are put in place by firms that proactively plan effective responses to negative incidents and business disruptions in order to continue their business operations at an acceptable predefined level. Unfortunately, the Business Services SMEs suffer from a lack of awareness, skills and knowledge on Risk Management, Business Continuity and Information Security and their staff can invest very little time in reading complex guidelines and doing long training!
The project results will be disseminated to about 50,000 managers, executives or other employees with responsibility of SMEs from the Business Services sector in Europe, of which about 3,500 will make effective use of the three outputs. About 100 of them will have the opportunity to test them online (and 10 in face-to-face situation) and suggest modifications ahead of their dissemination.
The expected impact for the target groups is that SMEs of the Business Services sector better "neutralize dangers and risks affecting their activities" and become better prepared to face crisis and disruptions. In a word, that SMEs become more "resilient". If they do so, they will be then more sustainable, more competitive and will create more jobs.
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