The importance of having a business continuity plan
When the world is chugging along as normal and business operations only have the usual risks to monitor, it can be easy to put aside business continuity planning. But, as we've all discovered in recent weeks, anything can happen at any time, and businesses must be ready to pivot operations quickly, efficiently and safely as and when needed. The quick global spread of COVID-19, colloquially known as coronavirus, has thrown the world into disarray. The markets are in a nosedive, governments are shutting down entire countries and most organizations are having to quickly embrace remote working to keep the lights on and keep clients serviced. Those who do not have the capability to support workers at home ' and that are not essential services such as healthcare or sanitation ' are currently going through a trial by fire, with operations stymied and revenue under threat. Businesses are rushing to set up work-from-home arrangements, or take out subscriptions for online meetings and cloud collaboration technology. Priorities are shifting dramatically as we enter uncharted territory. This lack of preparedness could well see many businesses going under ' but if those organizations had created a robust business continuity plan ahead of time, they would know exactly how to handle such a crisis and weather the storm.
What is a business continuity plan and why do you need one?
A business continuity plan, or BCP, refers to the process a company will take to prevent and recover from potential threats to the organization. It ensures personnel and assets are protected and able to function in the event of a disaster, and is generally part of overall risk management ' that is, best practice dictates that you consider your business continuity plan ahead of time, not when a crisis hits. Your business continuity plan considers what those risks may look like ' both physical threats such as fire or flood, and those threats that are harder to pin down, such as hacks and pandemics ' and then determines:
- How those risks will impact operations
- How you'll implement safeguards, procedures and policies to mitigate the risks
- How you'll test procedures to ensure that they work
- How you'll review the process to keep it up-to-date
It includes a summary of the most critical business processes and functions ' those aspects that, if they failed, your business would be unable to operate ' as well as internal and external communication strategies, clear instructions for accessing and restoring offsite recovery data, any potential temporary offices or locations, and a change log that summarizes any updates to the plan for version-control purposes. Without a business continuity plan, you risk your company and its people . Not only could the business fail, but you could also suffer financial loss, a tarnished reputation and lost productivity. A physical disaster could also impact your employees, potentially causing injury or death.
Ensure continued — and secure — access to systems
With COVID-19 playing havoc with how companies go about their day-to-day activities, the priority for organizations should be on building business resilience. This means being flexible enough to go with the flow while maintaining operations at as normal a level as possible, all while ensuring your employees can access the systems and processes they need to do their jobs. It also means keeping a close eye on matters of cybersecurity. Those companies that maintain on-premises systems have suddenly found themselves in a pickle, as workers are unable to come into the office with cities on lockdown. The question of how teams will access platforms is an essential part of business continuity planning, and something that smart risk managers had covered long before the pandemic hit. They had thought about how teams would access platforms, assessed what bandwidth they had available for that level of remote access, and had considered whether they needed a temporary increase in network capacity or licenses. The security question, though, doesn't just extend to moving to cloud-based operations; hackers and cyber threats will use any crisis to their advantage. Keep an eye out for phishing scams, DDoS attacks and malware being introduced by employees keen to learn the latest developments in the crisis and not closely examining the links they click on. Security postures should include a review of systems you have in place to stop phishing campaigns and other inbound threat vectors before they hit employees' inboxes, writes Jason Albuquerque for InformationWeek .
Creating a business continuity plan
While every organization's business continuity plan will be different, there are some common steps that companies should follow to develop a solid continuity plan. They include:
- Undertaking a business impact analysis to identify functions and related resources that are time-sensitive
- Identifying and implementing steps to recover critical business functions
- Creating a continuity team that will be tasked with devising a plan to manage the disruption
- Training and testing the continuity team, and ensuring they regularly go over the plan and strategies to mitigate risk and ensure they are kept up-to-date
By considering these things in advance, organizations can help to ensure business continuity when things get tough, protecting the business, its reputation, its people and its customers.
The importance of technology to business continuity for legal operations
Of course, the march toward cloud-based technology to run essential business systems and processes makes business continuity planning a little easier. Once upon a time, you had to be in the office and on the network to access things like entity management software; today, there is a plethora of cloud-based options for all aspects of legal operations, compliance, governance and risk management work. Best-in-class providers of these systems are supporting their clients through the current COVID-19/coronavirus crisis, helping them to make sense of the craziness by providing online support, guidance and tech triage. More than just a software provider, these organizations become an essential partner in times of crisis. Diligent is one such company, acting as a partner to more than half of the Fortune 1000. Through its cloud-based legal technology platforms, Diligent enables proactive governance to help mitigate the risks of modern business. We believe every business should have the necessary business continuity planning and management strategies, plans and procedures in place, fully tested at regular intervals, to drive the assurance that when disaster strikes, they'll be ready. The cost and impact of not being prepared is usually far greater than that of being proactive. Diligent works to enable business continuity planning by ensuring ongoing access to essential documents, contracts and entity data through:
- Diligent Entities , which helps organizations to centralize, manage and effectively structure their corporate record to improve entity governance and improve decision-making
- Diligent Boards , which empowers boards and executives with the tools, insights and analytics to securely access board materials, track company performance and gather real-time information
- Diligent Assurance , which helps organizations to confidently create, manage and report on the obligations relevant to their business, and always be audit-ready.
Get in touch and request a demo to see how Diligent's suite of cloud-based governance and compliance software can help drive your business continuity planning and ensure your organization can continue to operate, no matter what gets thrown your way.
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Don’t underestimate the importance of a business continuity plan
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When disruption is unacceptable, business continuity is critical. Threats such as cyberattacks and natural phenomena can strike without warning, and business continuity is all about maintaining (or quickly resuming) business functions across all business lines – from HR and IT to marketing and sales – when the unexpected comes to pass. A comprehensive business continuity plan should be embedded as part of your organizational strategy; without it, you run a high risk of negatively impacting your productivity, reputation, revenue, and more. However, it is key to recognize that there’s more nuance to business continuity than you might think – read on for a brief overview and a deeper dive into this critical strategy.
Preparing for a crisis
Based on findings from a recent survey, PWC recommends three ways companies can better prepare for a crisis. – Design a strategic crisis response plan to mobilize swiftly, stabilize business operations and respond effectively to the shockwaves of disruption. – Break down silos – creating an integrated program is key to delivering a successful crisis response and to building resilience during everyday practices. – Prioritize and build organizational resilience into the fabric of your organization.
Business continuity is more than just disaster recovery
When people think of business continuity, they typically think of disaster recovery and traditional IT service outages. While IT infrastructure and operations are important components, you also need to ensure that your business continuity plan encompasses your people and practices. Many incidents outside of your technology can create the need for a business continuity plan, including lack of access to physical workspace, reputational crisis, or loss of key company individuals. To be able to appropriately respond to a wide range of issues, organizations should be set up in a way that enables its people to make impactful decisions without being hindered by bureaucracy – not to mention having strong practices in place.
Case in point
We can look to the COVID-19 pandemic as a recent example of the urgent need for a comprehensive business continuity plan. Throughout the pandemic, business continuity planning has been critical – and it had nothing to do with the traditional IT outage. Organizations had to act quickly in order to continue business as usual and deliver the quality service their customers had come to expect. Disruption (in one form or another) was inevitable as teams scrambled to shift their approach to work and maintain the status quo. As teams continue to adapt in these unprecedented times, remote work has risen drastically, requiring businesses to implement new practices, rely more on agile methodologies, and assess their tooling to get work done. Click below to learn IT best practices that Atlassian implemented for a remote workforce
But what about my technology?
Atlassian Cloud Enterprise: What it is & why we made it
While it’s key to recognize and protect your organization from the variety of factors that could lead to disruption and crisis, the topic of technology – outages, downtime, and loss of data – seems to occupy the majority of our mental real estate. Your tools are critical to your success, and failure to access them and the data they store can spell crisis. Choosing software that can safeguard your company is a no-brainer.
Atlassian cloud products remove a large piece of responsibility, and headache, from your business continuity plan. Leveraging Atlassian cloud opens up the time and freedom for your organization to focus on other practices and organizational needs. Atlassian cloud maintains the highest standards of reliability, with a guaranteed 99.95 percent uptime SLA and built-in business continuity and disaster recovery frameworks.
For organizations that need to maintain control via a self-managed environment, Disaster recovery for Data Center products ensures availability in the event that your primary instance becomes unavailable.
Other benefits of Atlassian cloud products and the virtualization of your software help mitigate future possible disruptions. When you don’t have to worry about physical infrastructure, that’s one less treason to panic over the possibility of physical destruction (think fire, flood, or earthquake) or the inability to get to a physical location for service (whether that’s due to damaged infrastructure or a pandemic).
We know that by choosing Atlassian products, you’re counting on us to assist in your business continuity plan holistically. Organizations run mission-critical projects and operations on Atlassian products, and we’re utterly devoted to delivering products, applications, and networks that are stable and secure at scale.
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- Business Continuity Plan Basics
- Understanding BCPs
- Benefits of BCPs
- How to Create a BCP
- BCP & Impact Analysis
- BCP vs. Disaster Recovery Plan
Frequently Asked Questions
- Business Continuity Plan FAQs
The Bottom Line
What is a business continuity plan (bcp), and how does it work.
Pete Rathburn is a copy editor and fact-checker with expertise in economics and personal finance and over twenty years of experience in the classroom.
Investopedia / Ryan Oakley
What Is a Business Continuity Plan (BCP)?
A business continuity plan (BCP) is a system of prevention and recovery from potential threats to a company. The plan ensures that personnel and assets are protected and are able to function quickly in the event of a disaster.
- Business continuity plans (BCPs) are prevention and recovery systems for potential threats, such as natural disasters or cyber-attacks.
- BCP is designed to protect personnel and assets and make sure they can function quickly when disaster strikes.
- BCPs should be tested to ensure there are no weaknesses, which can be identified and corrected.
Understanding Business Continuity Plans (BCPs)
BCP involves defining any and all risks that can affect the company's operations, making it an important part of the organization's risk management strategy. Risks may include natural disasters—fire, flood, or weather-related events—and cyber-attacks . Once the risks are identified, the plan should also include:
- Determining how those risks will affect operations
- Implementing safeguards and procedures to mitigate the risks
- Testing procedures to ensure they work
- Reviewing the process to make sure that it is up to date
BCPs are an important part of any business. Threats and disruptions mean a loss of revenue and higher costs, which leads to a drop in profitability. And businesses can't rely on insurance alone because it doesn't cover all the costs and the customers who move to the competition. It is generally conceived in advance and involves input from key stakeholders and personnel.
Business impact analysis, recovery, organization, and training are all steps corporations need to follow when creating a Business Continuity Plan.
Benefits of a Business Continuity Plan
Businesses are prone to a host of disasters that vary in degree from minor to catastrophic. Business continuity planning is typically meant to help a company continue operating in the event of major disasters such as fires. BCPs are different from a disaster recovery plan, which focuses on the recovery of a company's IT system after a crisis.
Consider a finance company based in a major city. It may put a BCP in place by taking steps including backing up its computer and client files offsite. If something were to happen to the company's corporate office, its satellite offices would still have access to important information.
An important point to note is that BCP may not be as effective if a large portion of the population is affected, as in the case of a disease outbreak. Nonetheless, BCPs can improve risk management—preventing disruptions from spreading. They can also help mitigate downtime of networks or technology, saving the company money.
How to Create a Business Continuity Plan
There are several steps many companies must follow to develop a solid BCP. They include:
- Business Impact Analysis : Here, the business will identify functions and related resources that are time-sensitive. (More on this below.)
- Recovery : In this portion, the business must identify and implement steps to recover critical business functions.
- Organization : A continuity team must be created. This team will devise a plan to manage the disruption.
- Training : The continuity team must be trained and tested. Members of the team should also complete exercises that go over the plan and strategies.
Companies may also find it useful to come up with a checklist that includes key details such as emergency contact information, a list of resources the continuity team may need, where backup data and other required information are housed or stored, and other important personnel.
Along with testing the continuity team, the company should also test the BCP itself. It should be tested several times to ensure it can be applied to many different risk scenarios . This will help identify any weaknesses in the plan which can then be identified and corrected.
In order for a business continuity plan to be successful, all employees—even those who aren't on the continuity team—must be aware of the plan.
Business Continuity Impact Analysis
An important part of developing a BCP is a business continuity impact analysis. It identifies the effects of disruption of business functions and processes. It also uses the information to make decisions about recovery priorities and strategies.
FEMA provides an operational and financial impact worksheet to help run a business continuity analysis. The worksheet should be completed by business function and process managers who are well acquainted with the business. These worksheets will summarize the following:
- The impacts—both financial and operational—that stem from the loss of individual business functions and process
- Identifying when the loss of a function or process would result in the identified business impacts
Completing the analysis can help companies identify and prioritize the processes that have the most impact on the business's financial and operational functions. The point at which they must be recovered is generally known as the “recovery time objective.”
Business Continuity Plan vs. Disaster Recovery Plan
BCPs and disaster recovery plans are similar in nature, the latter focuses on technology and information technology (IT) infrastructure. BCPs are more encompassing—focusing on the entire organization, such as customer service and supply chain.
BCPs focus on reducing overall costs or losses, while disaster recovery plans look only at technology downtimes and related costs. Disaster recovery plans tend to involve only IT personnel—which create and manage the policy. However, BCPs tend to have more personnel trained on the potential processes.
Why Is Business Continuity Plan (BCP) Important?
Businesses are prone to a host of disasters that vary in degree from minor to catastrophic and business continuity plans (BCPs) are an important part of any business. BCP is typically meant to help a company continue operating in the event of threats and disruptions. This could result in a loss of revenue and higher costs, which leads to a drop in profitability. And businesses can't rely on insurance alone because it doesn't cover all the costs and the customers who move to the competition.
What Should a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) Include?
Business continuity plans involve identifying any and all risks that can affect the company's operations. The plan should also determine how those risks will affect operations and implement safeguards and procedures to mitigate the risks. There should also be testing procedures to ensure these safeguards and procedures work. Finally, there should be a review process to make sure that the plan is up to date.
What Is Business Continuity Impact Analysis?
An important part of developing a BCP is a business continuity impact analysis which identifies the effects of disruption of business functions and processes. It also uses the information to make decisions about recovery priorities and strategies.
FEMA provides an operational and financial impact worksheet to help run a business continuity analysis.
These worksheets summarize the impacts—both financial and operational—that stem from the loss of individual business functions and processes. They also identify when the loss of a function or process would result in the identified business impacts.
Business continuity plans (BCPs) are created to help speed up the recovery of an organization filling a threat or disaster. The plan puts in place mechanisms and functions to allow personnel and assets to minimize company downtime. BCPs cover all organizational risks should a disaster happen, such as flood or fire.
Federal Emergency Management Agency. " Business Process Analysis and Business Impact Analysis User Guide ," Pages 15 - 17. Accessed Sept. 5, 2021.
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What is Business Continuity planning and why it’s important?
If we’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that in life, as well as business, it’s important to expect the unexpected. Business continuity planning is talked about now more than ever. We hope this article can provide some insight on what it is, why it’s important, and what it entails.
What is business continuity planning?
Unexpected events can disrupt day-to-day business operations at any time. Business continuity refers to the idea of having a plan to deal with these events, so your organization can continue operating with minimal disruption. A good business continuity plan identifies potential threats and analyzes how they would impact business function. It also establishes a framework to deal with these threats in an effective manner that minimizes negative impact.
We break the planning process down into five key steps:
Step 1: Risk-assessment
This step includes:
- Evaluation of the company’s risks and exposures
- Assessing the impact of different disruption scenarios
- Determining the most likely threats
Step 2: Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
- Recovery objectives, including both recovery point objectives (RPO) and recovery time objectives (RTO)
- Critical business processes as well as the supporting applications
- Internal and external interdependencies
- Critical staff, backups, and skill sets
Step 3: Business Continuity Plan Development
- Combining Risk Assessment and BIA findings into a thorough and actionable plan
- Developing departmental, region, and site-level plans
- Reviewing plan with key stakeholders to finalize and put into action
Step 4: Strategy and Plan Development
- Ensure that the recovery times you have stated in your plan are obtainable and meet the BIA objectives
- Incorporate different perspectives from staff across the organization to help map the overall feel and company focus
- Have management and executive teams review and sign off on plan
Step 5: Plan Testing & Maintenance
- Conducting various simulation exercises to ensure comfort in executing the plan’s steps
- Executing bi-annual plan reviews
- Keep up with ever-changing BIA to make sure the plan stays relevant
Why is business continuity important?
In today’s “always-on” world, downtime has become largely unacceptable. Business continuity allows an organization to respond quickly in times of crisis. This is crucial, not only to save money and time, but also to minimize damage to a company’s reputation. Depending on the industry, business continuity might even be required for legal and compliance purposes. It’s important to know the industry-specific rules and regulations that affect your business.
Business continuity plans should offer clear guidelines for what an organization needs to maintain basic operations. When a business-disruption event occurs, there should be no question how the company should proceed. The customers, company and employees are all at stake.
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The Backbone of Resilient Organizations: Demystifying Business Continuity
What is business continuity.
No matter what business you’re in, unexpected disruptions can happen. Outages, natural disasters, supply chain failures, cyber incidents, equipment failures, and other physical and technical issues can all disrupt your ability to function and thrive.
To ensure your business is ready for unexpected events, you need to know what to do when things go wrong—and this is where business continuity comes in. Read on to learn more about business continuity, including disaster recovery, and what to include in your business continuity plan. Also, find out about business continuity management and business continuity solutions.
What is business continuity and why is it important?
Business continuity is an organization’s readiness to continue functioning during times of disruption. Business continuity is important because it reduces the potential impact of a disruption on customers, employees, and partners.
Having a business continuity plan (BCP)—which includes the analysis, technology, documentation, training, key team members, and procedures involved in resolving potential crisis situations—is vital for ensuring business continuity. A BCP includes goals focused on minimizing the potential impact of a crisis on a company’s financials and reputation—and maintaining industry, regional, and global compliance standards and regulations.
What’s the difference between business continuity and disaster recovery?
While business continuity and disaster recovery are often used interchangeably, they’re not the same thing.
Disaster recovery is a key part of a business continuity plan and is focused specifically on systems, data, and IT infrastructures. It includes technology, strategies, and processes for saving, restoring, and recovering data and protecting against cyber threats.
For a BCP to be successful in reducing downtime, mitigating risks, and remediating issues like data loss and corruption, disaster recovery measures are crucial. While both involve processes, people, and technology, business continuity offers a much wider scope to encompass the steps necessary for maintaining operations across every part of a business.
What should be included in a business continuity plan?
There are three components of a business continuity plan to consider:
- Resilience—developing business functions and infrastructures to be prepared for an unexpected situation.
- Recovery—setting up backup and recovery solutions for your applications, systems, and networks; determining what systems should be prioritized in the event of a disaster; and choosing a third-party vendor for additional help and resources if necessary.
- Contingency—creating steps for what to do if a disruption occurs. This includes setting up a chain of command with key people and defining their responsibilities when it comes to communication, technology, third-party contracting, and coordinating temporary spaces. Keep these in mind at every step in the planning process to help ensure your BCP covers the full scope of your business.
With these three key components in mind, take the following steps to start building your business continuity plan:
- Run a business impact analysis (BIA), which examines your current business functions, processes, and technology. An analysis will uncover potential vulnerabilities, risks, and threats you might encounter. Doing so helps identify areas of improvement and what to prioritize. After an analysis, you may consider making additional technology investments as well.
- Outline and assign responsibilities for who will delegate, act, and support in the event of a crisis. These individuals will execute any necessary steps, be points of contact, gather resources, and guide efforts to minimize downtime for affected business functions.
- Determine alternative forms of communication in case your standard means of communication are impacted by an outage or downtime.
- Prepare backup equipment in case of damage or outages to prevent business-critical functions from stopping.
- Understand and follow business continuity standards, which are legal and regulatory requirements determined for an industry. These are helpful when determining what steps you need to take in scenarios such as a breach or data loss. Creating a plan isn’t the last step—to make business continuity an important part of your organization, you also need business continuity management.
What is business continuity management?
Business continuity management includes the processes you put in place to set up and maintain your business continuity plan. It should include the following:
- Creating policies that define the scope, objectives, and principles of business continuity. These should always keep the customer in mind to ensure you’ve documented what business-critical functions may impact customers and who is involved in customer service communication in the event of an outage or disruption.
- Assembling business continuity teams throughout your organization who can communicate and enforce policies and procedures that are put in place. These employees will take part in ongoing reviews and tests to make sure everything and everyone is properly prepared for an incident.
- Supporting a culture of business continuity by educating your entire organization about risks, policies, and documentation available. Offering ongoing training is an important way to increase awareness and gather data to see if there are any gaps or areas in need of improvement.
- Maintaining up-to-date compliance standards and best practices to make sure your processes, workflows, and employees all work within the correct industry standards as they relate to data. If a business doesn’t keep up and an unexpected disruption occurs, there’s the risk of increased financial damages, legal costs, and fines.
Keeping track of all the continuously developing parts of a business continuity plan can be daunting for a growing organization. To reduce the time and effort involved, many businesses invest in business continuity solutions.
What kind of business continuity solutions should I consider?
The business continuity solutions you choose should be based on your organization’s needs. Depending on the industry you’re in, the size of your company, and your business-critical functions, you’ll find a range of software and resources available. These options include:
- Cloud-based storage solutions, which provide a secure, remote location to back up and run workflows and applications, as well as store data. If there’s a breach or error causing data loss, you can access what you need from the cloud.
- Backup and recovery tools for making copies of the data, applications, and systems within your IT infrastructure. If anything is deleted, corrupted, or shut down during a disruption, you can restore them and minimize downtime. These solutions offer different options for running backups, including automatically on a schedule, instantly, or as needed.
- Virtualization tools that replicate environments and workspaces. If there’s an outage or device issues, employees can still access their applications and run processes as normal, reducing downtime that may affect services.
- Contracts with third-party providers, such as disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) and backup-as-a-service. Based on your agreement, a provider can run data backups, host your IT infrastructure, and offer support in the event of a disaster. These services are typically offered with a subscription or a pay-as-you-use model and include support from IT and cybersecurity experts.
- Unified communication tools to support collaboration across your entire organization. With one platform for connecting frontline workers, customer service agents, and other key members of your continuity teams, it’s easier to keep everyone up to date on disruptions and manage shifts and schedules to make sure the right people are available.
Business continuity should be a priority for any growing business looking to ensure the safety and security of their employees, technology, and data. To support the planning process, there are several solutions available to make business continuity planning easier. Though you can’t predict or prevent every disruption, with the right tools, a solid plan, and an educated team, business continuity can save you time, money, and resources across your organization.
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The Importance of a Business Continuity Plan (Plus a Free Guide)
Creating a business continuity plan isn’t just a smart business strategy; it’s an essential component of ensuring survival during and after a crisis, emergency or disaster event. If your organization is looking to create (or update) its business continuity plan, look no further. This article covers the many benefits of having one. Plus, you’ll even find a downloadable, step-by-step guide for how to create one at the end.
What is a Business Continuity Plan?
A business continuity plan (BCP) is a process that outlines the potential impact of disaster situations to business operations. It creates policies that respond to various situations to ensure a business is able to recover quickly after a crisis. The main goal of a BCP is to protect people, property and assets. It also helps position your organization to recover from unexpected business interruptions, property damage, financial impact and even loss of life following an emergency.
Business Continuity Planning: Why You Should Care
There’s no denying that the beginning of 2020 has been incredibly difficult for many businesses. While some organizations have had to convert to a 100% remote approach to operations, others have have been forced to shut their doors until further notice. The COVID-19 crisis was sudden and unexpected for many, and called for drastic measures that many businesses were not prepared for.
Much like in the coronavirus situation, many businesses do not recognize the need for a BCP until it’s too late. Here’s how having a BCP could save your business significant time, money and precious resources in the wake of an emergency or crisis.
5 Benefits of Having a Business Continuity Plan
1. your business will be more prepared to handle the unexpected..
Businesses can’t expect employees to know the best ways to react during a crisis situation. Leaving each person to respond in his or her own way will, at best, only add to the confusion and at worst, lead to loss of life. A BCP will help document procedures well in advance of an emergency. This way, employees can receive training to protect themselves and make smart decisions without panicking.
2. Your business will have safeguards in place (in addition to insurance).
A common misconception is that businesses do not need a business continuity plan if they have insurance. The truth is that a business can’t always rely on insurance alone. Insurance doesn’t always cover peripheral damage of an incident, such as loss of customers, loss of market share and operational setbacks. A BCP only helps bolster safety and security in your organization.
3. Your business will invest in itself and its ability to bounce back.
The time you spend developing and maintaining a business continuity plan is time that you spend investing in your company. It’s important to remember that your fixed costs will continue after an event, whether you’re open or not. The faster your organization can return to business as usual, the more likely you’ll be to fully recover from an unanticipated event.
4. Your business will have a plan to continue providing acceptable service after the disaster.
Threats, disruptions and disasters can lead to a loss in revenue and higher costs, which in turn can affect profitability. Don’t let an unanticipated event set your business back, especially when it comes to production of goods or services. A business continuity plan can help your organization keep operations running, retain customers and continue earning revenue.
5. Your business will better preserve its corporate reputation, image and revenue stream.
Companies that take the time to consider how they’ll respond to emergency situations are genuinely the ones who are able to bounce back and continue operations as usual. A predefined business continuity plan (when combined with proper insurance coverage) will help your organization eliminate the need to make hasty decisions under stressful conditions.
Here’s Your Free Guide to Creating a Business Continuity Plan
Business continuity planning is an expansive topic. With so many resources available on the internet, it can be difficult to know where to start. We made it easy with our step-by-step guide to business continuity planning. Inside, you’ll find resources including a BCP outline, a business impact questionnaire, and other helpful tools.
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Business Continuity Planning: Ensuring the Resilience of Your Organization
Let’s explore the intricacies of business continuity planning, from understanding its importance to implementing a robust strategy that safeguards your enterprise.
Published by Orgvue November 20, 2023
Home > Resources > article > Business Continuity Planning: Ensuring the Resilience of Your Organization
In an unpredictable world, the ability to sustain your business’s essential functions and operations, even in the face of disruptions, is paramount.
Business continuity planning is the framework that ensures your organization can weather storms, both literal and metaphorical.
What is Business Continuity Planning?
At its core, business continuity planning is the process of developing a proactive strategy to ensure an organization’s critical functions and operations can continue in the face of unforeseen disruptions.
It encompasses a range of activities, from risk assessment to the creation of detailed recovery plans, with the ultimate goal of minimizing downtime and ensuring the organization’s resilience.
The Importance of Business Continuity Planning
The importance of being prepared for various external and internal factors cannot be overstated. While many businesses have a standard business plan, not all of them consider the potential disruptions caused by natural calamities, economic downturns, or other unexpected events. Business continuity planning is the key to ensuring a company’s sustained operation, regardless of the challenges it may face.
Business continuity planning goes beyond the traditional business plan. While a business plan outlines goals and strategies for growth, a continuity plan focuses on how the organization will continue to function in the face of adversity. It involves identifying potential risks and developing strategies to mitigate and recover from them. Whether it’s a natural disaster, a cyberattack or an economic recession, having a well-thought-out strategic plan is essential for business survival.
One of the most significant threats to businesses is an economic downturn, such as a recession. During these challenging times, consumer spending often decreases, and businesses may face financial instability. A recession can have a ripple effect on companies of all sizes, causing decreased revenue, layoffs, and even closures.
For a detailed look at the impact of recessions on businesses, read how to prepare for a recession , which delves into strategies for navigating these challenging economic conditions.
Business strategy planning is not just about surviving during tough times; it’s also crucial for capitalizing on periods of growth. When businesses experience an upturn, they often need to scale rapidly to meet increased demand. Having a continuity plan in place allows for a smoother transition during periods of growth, ensuring that the infrastructure, resources and workforce can adapt effectively.
The financial consequences of not having a business continuity plan can be devastating. Without a plan in place, businesses are more vulnerable to unexpected disruptions, which can result in significant financial losses. These losses may come from increased downtime, lost revenue, legal liabilities, reputational damage and the costs associated with recovery efforts.
Considerations for Business Continuity Planning
Creating a robust business continuity plan is a complex task that involves a multitude of factors. Among these considerations, three key aspects stand out: cultural differences, limited resources and alignment with business objectives. A successful business strategy plan takes these factors into account to ensure that an organization can effectively respond to disruptions while maintaining its core values and strategic direction.
1. Cultural Differences
Cultural diversity is a significant consideration in business strategy planning, especially for multinational companies or organizations with a diverse workforce. Cultural differences can influence how employees perceive and respond to crises. When developing a business continuity plan, it is important to consider the following aspects:
- Communication Styles : Different cultures have varying communication norms and hierarchies. Understanding how employees from various cultural backgrounds communicate during a crisis can help in crafting effective crisis communication strategies.
- Decision-Making Processes : Some cultures prioritize consensus-driven decision-making, while others lean towards hierarchical authority. A business continuity plan should acknowledge these differences and provide flexibility in decision-making approaches during disruptions.
- Crisis Response Expectations : Cultural expectations can shape how employees expect the organization to respond to a crisis. Your business strategy plan should be sensitive to these expectations and ensure that response strategies align with cultural norms.
2. Limited Resources
For many businesses, resource constraints are a reality. When developing a business continuity plan, it’s crucial to consider the organization’s resource limitations, such as budget, personnel and technology. Here are some key considerations:
- Resource Allocation : Prioritize critical functions and allocate resources accordingly. Not all business processes are equally important, and a business continuity plan should identify and protect the most essential ones first.
- Efficiency and Scalability : Develop strategies that focus on efficiency and scalability. Efficient resource use is critical, and a business strategy plan should outline how to adapt to changing resource constraints during a crisis.
- Collaboration : Collaboration with external partners, such as suppliers, can be a resource-saving strategy. Establishing relationships with partners who can provide support during disruptions is a valuable aspect.
3. Business Objectives
A business continuity plan should align with the broader business objectives to ensure that it doesn’t hinder growth or innovation. Consider the following aspects:
- Market Expansion: If the organization’s objective is to expand into new markets, the business strategy plan should accommodate this goal. It should address the challenges and opportunities that come with market expansion, including regulatory compliance and logistical considerations.
- Relocation or Migration : If there are plans to relocate or migrate operations, the business continuity plan should include strategies for a seamless transition. This may involve considerations such as data migration, employee relocation and continuity of customer service.
- Competitive Landscape : Changes in the competitive landscape, such as the emergence of new competitors, can impact the organization’s continuity. The business strategy plan should be flexible enough to adapt to shifts in the competitive environment.
- The COVID-19 pandemic forced companies to adapt rapidly, with remote work becoming the norm for many, reshaping entire industries like healthcare and e-commerce.
- The global recession of 2008 had long-lasting effects on financial institutions and prompted regulatory changes that influenced business operations.
- The rise of the internet transformed countless businesses, from retail to media, and required adaptation to online platforms.
- Looking ahead, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence have the potential to disrupt industries in unprecedented ways, with automation and data-driven decision-making reshaping the future of work. These events emphasize the critical importance of adaptable and comprehensive business continuity planning to navigate the unpredictable landscape of our ever-evolving world.
Developing a Strategic Business Plan
A well structured business plan serves as a roadmap for your organization, guiding actions and decisions while enabling effective response to a dynamic business environment.
- Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current state of the business.
- Review financial statements, market positioning and operational performance.
- Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- Evaluate the company’s internal resources and capabilities.
- Analyze micro-environment factors such as competitors, customers, suppliers and regulatory changes.
- Examine macro-environment factors like economic trends, technological advancements and political factors.
- Use tools like PESTEL analysis and Porter’s Five Forces to assess the external business environment.
- Clearly define short-term and long-term business objectives.
- Make objectives specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART).
- Align objectives with the company’s mission and vision.
- Identify key operational processes that drive business success.
- Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of these processes.
- Prioritize improvements in critical areas to align with strategic objectives.
- Plan for potential risks and uncertainties that could impact the business.
- Create contingency and crisis management strategies.
- Establish a risk management framework to mitigate and respond to unforeseen events.
- Implement key performance indicators (KPIs) to track progress.
- Regularly review and revise the business plan based on changing market conditions.
- Adapt to emerging opportunities and challenges.
- Ensure that the strategic plan is communicated effectively throughout the organization.
- Secure buy-in and commitment from employees at all levels.
- Ensure that all team members understand their roles in achieving the plan’s objectives.
- Allocate resources, including finances and manpower, in alignment with the strategic priorities.
- Develop a budget that reflects the financial requirements of the plan.
- Monitor spending and adjust budgets as needed.
- Develop a timeline and action plan for the execution of the strategic initiatives.
- Assign responsibilities to specific teams or individuals.
- Regularly review progress and make adjustments to stay on track.
- Periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the strategic plan.
- Solicit feedback from employees, customers and stakeholders.
- Use feedback to make continuous improvements and refine the plan.
- Establish a system for measuring and reporting progress.
- Create dashboards or reports to communicate key metrics to stakeholders.
- Ensure that performance data aligns with the defined objectives.
- Incorporate sustainability and responsible growth practices into the plan.
- Address social and environmental impacts as part of corporate responsibility.
- Seek opportunities for sustainable growth and innovation.
- Develop scenarios that explore alternative future situations.
- Consider various outcomes and their implications on the business.
- Prepare for different scenarios to enhance adaptability.
- Leverage technology for data analytics, automation, and efficiency.
- Stay updated on emerging technologies that can support the strategic plan.
- Integrate technology solutions to enhance business processes.
Implementing a Business Continuity Plan
Importance of Training and Awareness:
- Awareness: Create awareness about the business continuity plan across the organization to foster a culture of preparedness. This includes educating employees on the potential risks and the importance of the plan.
Consistent Review of the Plan:
- Conduct post-incident reviews to assess the BCP’s performance after a real event and make necessary adjustments.
Address Cultural and Technological Issues:
- Technological Challenges: Recognize and mitigate technological hurdles that can hinder the plan’s execution, such as infrastructure limitations or cybersecurity threats. Ensure that IT systems are resilient and can support the plan.
- Organizational design software like Orgvue can assist in visualizing and optimizing the organizational structure, enabling efficient allocation of resources and responsibilities during a disruption.
Business continuity planning is not merely a precaution but a strategic imperative for any organization. It provides a structured approach to safeguarding business operations in the face of unforeseen disruptions, thereby minimizing downtime and potential financial losses.
By fostering a culture of preparedness, training employees, regularly reviewing and adapting the plan, addressing cultural and technological issues, and leveraging software solutions like Orgvue for organizational design, businesses can ensure their resilience and adaptability in an ever-changing landscape.
For businesses with specific 1-5 year plans, the integration of business strategy planning is paramount. It aligns seamlessly with forward-looking strategies by fortifying the organization’s ability to execute those plans in the face of unexpected events.
By weaving business continuity considerations into your strategic framework, you not only protect your investments but also demonstrate your commitment to long-term success, customer trust and stakeholder confidence. The benefits of such foresight extend far beyond mitigating risk; they empower your business to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable world. Therefore, it is recommended that businesses of all sizes prioritize and integrate business continuity planning as an integral part of their strategic vision and ongoing operations.
Business Continuity Plan FAQs
● where does business continuity planning belong in an organization.
Depending on the organization’s culture, the department your business continuity plan falls under varies. IT is usually one of the most vital components of any business strategy plan, in which case it could belong under the IT department. Or, if financial impacts are your organization’s main concern, the finance department may need to run the plan.
● Who Is Responsible For the Business Continuity Plan?
The business continuity plan usually falls under the responsibility of a dedicated role or department, often led by a Business Continuity Manager, who reports to senior leadership. This individual or team is responsible for creating, implementing, and regularly updating the plan to ensure the organization’s resilience in the face of disruptions.
● Is Business Continuity Planning a Legal Requirement?
It is not always a legal requirement, but certain industries and jurisdictions may have regulations or standards that mandate organizations to have such plans in place to ensure operational resilience and preparedness for emergencies.
● What Role Can Business Continuity Planning Play In Recovering From an Incident?
It plays a crucial role in helping organizations recover from incidents by providing a structured framework to assess, respond to and mitigate the impact of disruptions, minimizing downtime and financial losses. It outlines clear procedures and responsibilities, ensuring that essential operations can resume swiftly and efficiently, thus safeguarding the organization’s reputation and maintaining stakeholder trust.
● When Should a Business Continuity Plan Be Activated?
A business continuity plan should be activated as a preventative measure in the event a disruptive incident occurs. Triggers may include natural disasters, cyberattacks, supply chain disruptions or any event that threatens the continuity of critical business functions.
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5 Reasons your organization needs a business continuity plan
You never need a business continuity plan until you do. Here are 5 reasons you should start yours today.
Read time: 6 minutes
Organizations often underestimate the importance of a business continuity plan. No one ever notices its absence – until disaster strikes. By then, it’s too late.
Any unplanned interruption of normal business processes can create immense hurdles and costly setbacks. Operations suffer. Revenue may suffer even more.
Unplanned interruptions take many forms. It can be something as simple as a power outage. It could be a major hurricane. Ultimately, a disaster can be anything that disrupts normal business operations. Regardless of the cause, unplanned means unexpected.
With a business continuity plan in place, you position yourself to minimize the impact and damage of an unexpected event. In this article, we will discuss:
What constitutes business continuity planning and the difference between it and disaster recovery.
The top 5 reasons your organization needs a business continuity plan.
The importance of business continuity planning beyond simply restoring operations.
How to get started building a business continuity plan.
What is business continuity planning?
A business continuity plan gives an organization the ability to maintain essential processes before, during, and after a disaster.
Business continuity differs from disaster recovery in its holistic approach to the business. Business continuity reflects a business-wide implementation plan to ensure the continuation of critical business functions should a disruptive event occur. Disaster recovery “recovers” an organization’s hardware, applications, and data after a technology disruption.
Learn more about Business continuity and disaster recovery solutions and services
While it takes time and effort to build and test a business continuity plan, you’ll find it well worth it should a disaster strike.
Here are 5 of the main reasons you need a business continuity plan:
Reason #1: Disaster recovery
As noted in the previous section, disaster recovery plays a significant role in the restoration of business operations.
Disasters happen. Their unexpected nature is what makes them so devastating. Being prepared may not prevent the disaster, but it does mitigate the impact on your business.
Research states that 40 percent of small businesses never recover from a disaster.¹ Larger organizations take major hits.
Often when we think of disasters, we think of major events like earthquakes, floods, and natural disasters. These, however, aren’t the only causes of downtime. Data deletion due to human error, poor security habits of users, and incompetent employees or accidents also rank among the prime reasons for IT downtime.
Reason #2: Data shows backups are not enough
Most companies deploy some form of data backup. Having data backed up does you no good if you cannot access it, such as could occur in a power outage or need to leave an office site even on a temporary basis.
Accessing data in the event of a disaster can prove a problem. After all, having a backup is different from accessing it.
It’s a question business continuity planning asks: How will you access that data in the event of an outage?
For example, the average enterprise backup reaches over a petabyte or more. This pushes conventional storage to its limits. Even several terabytes of data backed up by a small to mid-sized business can strain capacity and bandwidth. And if you don’t have a data center or hardware prepared to handle this volume of data, it does you no good.
By deploying business continuity and disaster recovery solutions leveraging cloud technologies and virtual servers, organizations can run critical business applications from backup instances on virtual servers in the cloud. This approach enables you to effectively “flip a switch” and can keep your downtime to a minimum.
Reason #3: Insurance does not protect your data
Cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated and successful every year.
A 2018 study of companies that were attacked found that 68% of breaches took months or longer to discover.² And insurance doesn’t restore data due to data center, server, or backup loss, or even lost access to any of these.
Insurance isn’t enough to cover all the damages of a disaster. Yes, it can cover the costs of repairs, but in terms of loss of revenue and business prospects due to downtime, it has little effect.
Reason #4: Competitive edge
You have a big advantage over your competitors if you can restore normal operations while they are still trying to figure it out. Getting your network back up and running fast, restoring access to your business data and documents, and reconnecting your employees to communicate with each other and support your customers allows for your organization to stand-out as a leader and one that can be trusted and relied upon.
Reason #5: Business must go on
Keeping a business going is essential. Taking a very simple view, if you lose the ability to buy and sell, your business – for all practical purposes – ceases to function.
Business continuity makes this possible by establishing actions that must be taken to ensure operations remain active, no matter the nature of the disaster. For example:
If the power goes out without certainty of when it will be restored, can you switch to a server or network located in a functioning data center?
If you experience a server failure, do you have a backup server (or virtual server) ready to go?
If your office location becomes inaccessible for any reason, can your employees work remotely?
When building your business continuity plan, you consider all the possible disruptions you might encounter. Loss of power or an office location is one of the biggest reasons offsite and redundant backup remains one of the most important aspects of IT reliability.
Your business simply cannot afford downtime. A solid business continuity plan can mean the difference between being back up and running in a matter of minutes versus days or even weeks.
The importance of a business continuity plan
A business continuity plan positions your organization to survive serious disruption. It eliminates confusion common to every disaster, providing a clear blueprint for what everyone should do.
More importantly, your business continuity plan supports:
Communication between employees and customers
Workflow operations essential to business activity
Customer service response, especially if you are a service provider
Business security, keeping your data and information secured wherever you and your team find yourself working
The flow of information and documents
Beyond business operations, your business continuity plan helps people. By keeping operations going, you are better positioned to keep your employees working, protecting the jobs that support them and their families. You also continue to meet the needs of your customers, impacting their lives, and if you are in a B2B business, the lives of their customers.
We are here to help
We have helped many businesses develop and implement business continuity plans.
In addition to consulting services like these, our IT services can remove the burden of monitoring and managing your data infrastructure to help give you increased reliability, reduced risk and a comprehensive business continuity plan in the event of a disaster.
Ricoh’s IT services include:
Server & network management
Device & desktop management
Managed cybersecurity services
End user communication services
Managed cloud services
Data center services
Disaster recovery and backup
IT project work
Remote IT support
We know that your business is unique and has its own needs. In every engagement, you can be confident that we’ll work together to create a business continuity plan and if needed, a technology infrastructure built specifically for you.
- 1. http://www.chamber101.com/2programs_committee/natural_disasters/disasterpreparedness/Forty.htm
- 2. https://enterprise.verizon.com/resources/reports/DBIR_2018_Report.pdf
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Why is Business Continuity Planning Important?
Published on December 20, 2018
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Everything you need to know about business continuity, straight to your inbox, planning to ensure sustainability.
The business continuity planning process can seem like a complex task. However, the benefits far outweigh the cons.
The initial task of BC planning can seem like a lot of hard work, but a clearly defined Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) will be more than worth its weight if your company is faced with an incident.
Every year around 20% of businesses experience business disruption, and this number is continually growing. More alarmingly, it is reported that 75% of companies are forced to cease business operations permanently within three years of experiencing an incident.
Both existing and emerging risks are on the rise with increases in adverse weather conditions and cyber-attacks, the globalisation of supply chains, and increasing dependency on technology all contributing to the increase.
Importance of a Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
Business continuity planning is essential to the recovery from any incident, and a clearly defined structure and framework are key to creating a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan and documenting procedures to restore your business operations in the event of a disruption. However, companies often do not carry out this activity, which can be extremely detrimental or even fatal to the business. Investing time and effort in the business continuity planning process comes with many benefits.
Building Confidence Within The Team
Implementing a BCP and ideally, a full Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) , is highly beneficial to the organization's team. A BCMS provides knowledge and understanding amongst the staff from a business continuity perspective. It ensures that individuals are aware of their roles and responsibilities if an incident was to occur, which, in turn, ensures that critical activities and operations can be restored to normal functionality in as quick a turnaround as possible.
Moreover, a well-established business continuity plan helps to increase confidence amongst the personnel and other key stakeholders of a business, both that their organisation has placed their safety and security at the highest of importance and that there are adequate solutions in place to alleviate disruption and job losses following a business disturbance.
Safeguarding Brand's Reputation
A brand must consider its reputation. Damage to reputation can be a majorly disastrous aspect for an organisation in the case of a disruptive incident public perception can be what makes or breaks a company.
Consider the BP Oil Crisis of 2010 or the disaster at Samsung following the notoriety of its Galaxy Note 7. We can see from these examples that not only the incident itself but also the way in which the business handles and responds in the aftermath of the event contribute to the public's perception.
In the case of BP, the problem was magnified by the negatively received reaction to their attempts to downplay the incident and the insensitive response from the then-CEO. It has since been reported that the brand has taken 8 years and over $60bn to rebuild back to its previous state.
Well-planned, quality BCPs and communications strategies would have helped the company to recover more efficiently and perhaps with less reputational damage .
In Samsung's case, their attempts at the total recall of the affected product range were said to be poor, and the approach was widely criticised, only exacerbating the situation and making recovery attempts more difficult. For a company with a global product offering, the need for a recall strategy would be identified through implementing a BCMS, and the incident and aftermath, in this case, can only lead us to believe that the brand's plans were not sufficient.
Increasing Competitive Advantage
Another important reason BC planning is important to an organisation is its competitive advantage .
With globalisation, online commerce, and the always-on culture, as well as increasing innovation and emerging technologies, consumers' expectations are much higher, and their choice is much greater than ever before. Companies who set up and manage a thorough BCMS can establish consumer confidence and increase satisfaction with peace of mind that your business has the plan to minimise disruption and facilitate recovery in the quickest and smoothest way possible.
Becoming certified with recognised accreditations such as the ISO 22301 standard for Business Continuity helps to increase customer confidence and thus the competitive advantage to the business.
Facilitating Internal Communications
Finally, we must consider the communicational advantages that come from a BCMS.
Creating contact lists for notification purposes during the BCP process allows a business to reflect on and strengthen its existing communication channels and methods. This is of advantage to a business in terms of its day-to-day operations, in addition to the preparation for any potential disaster.
Steps in Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
Now that the benefits of business continuity planning are established, the next objective for businesses of all sizes is to develop a business continuity plan. Most mid-sized business owners estimate it takes about three months to recover from a disruption to critical business functions. However, that assumes you have a plan for business continuity . What happens to businesses that don't? According to Gartner research, businesses stand to lose up to $5,600 per minute of business disruption.
No matter if you're big or small, businesses can't afford to lose that much money! Developing the steps to a business continuity plan is integral to disaster recovery and restoring business functions in the face of risk and other threats to your business continuity.
Business continuity planning involves a lot of human resources and IT infrastructure. It also costs money to conduct a business impact analysis. However, you will be more at ease knowing that you can restore your business processes in the face of any business disruption.
Step 1: Establish the Scope of The Plan
The first step in creating a business continuity plan is to establish its scope. Determine what areas of your business need to be covered by the plan.
It is crucial to have a clear understanding of your organisation's operations to determine the plan's scope effectively. The idea is that the business can stay operational despite threats or risks by ensuring the continuity of critical business functions.
Step 2: Outline the BC Incident Identification and Escalation Process (With Suitable Defined Roles And Responsibilities)
The second step is to establish a clear process for identifying and escalating incidents. The process should include the exact roles and responsibilities of your team members, outlining who will be responsible for activating the business continuity plan, and what procedures should be followed in case of an incident.
An effective business continuity management team should be able to communicate the plan to the entire organization and identify the recovery time and point objectives. They are responsible for performing business impact analysis periodically, such as running risk assessment and risk analysis. The point of these activities would be to identify the critical functions of businesses so they can be highlighted in the continuity planning.
Aside from defining the roles of the business continuity planning team, ensure you have a detailed workflow. The processes should be regularly updated to avoid inefficiencies and to manage them in time.
The team will prepare the standards for implementing strategies to resume business operations. If new team members are added, they should be well-informed and briefed about the project flow.
Step 3: Identify Key Business Areas, Critical Business Functions And Potential Threats
Identify key business areas and business functions that are most critical to operations and require the most attention during an incident to ensure business continuity. You must also pinpoint any risks that could occur.
There are internal and external potential threats unique to every business, depending on the nature of your business. Identifying these threats is vital in continuity planning because you must identify the potential scenarios you could face and create a risk mitigation plan accordingly.
Step 4: Determine Unacceptable Downtime For Each Critical Function
Determining the acceptable downtime for each critical function is an essential step in developing a business continuity plan. You must understand the impact of downtime on your business operations to come up with the most appropriate solution and avoid revenue loss.
This step involves identifying the maximum amount of downtime that can be tolerated for each critical business function before disruptions damage your activities and reputation to the point where you couldn't recover from it.
Step 5: Identify Critical Dependencies, Systems, Data, and Resources
You must prioritise critical dependencies, data and resources based on their importance in maintaining business operations.
For example, some locations are at a higher risk for certain natural disasters, such as hurricanes or flooding. There are also risks that could affect all businesses, no matter the size or nature of business functions. One example of that is a power outage.
This approach to business continuity planning ensures that your critical business functions that rely on power will not be greatly affected or that you have a backup power source in case of a power outage.
Another common threat that many businesses face today would be cyber attacks. Identity or data theft is possible when unauthorized cyber criminals gain access to your computer network. Therefore, you should conduct a risk assessment on your IT infrastructure to ensure that you can recover critical business functions after a cyber threat or prevent an IT attack in the first place.
Step 6: Identify Key Contacts (Relevant to The Plan Scope).
Identifying key contacts is an essential step in creating a business continuity plan. You have to determine who needs to be notified during an incident and the channels through which they can be contacted. Make sure you keep a contact list of the business continuity team members that you will review regularly - someone might have a new phone number.
The list of key contacts should include all stakeholders relevant to the plan's scope, including employees, vendors, customers, and regulatory bodies.
Step 7: Develop Recovery Strategies
You can develop recovery strategies for your most important business operations based on the risk assessment. Not only must you come up with an efficient recovery system, but it is also a must to formulate an effective communication plan.
An effective business continuity plan always puts people first. Therefore, your recovery strategies should focus on the employees, vendors, and customers. Once you identify the impact of business disruption on specific functions, you can determine its recovery capability and the resources needed to maintain business operations.
Step 8: Define a Strategy to Regularly Review, Authorise, Communicate, Test, And Maintain The Plan.
Testing is an integral part of your business continuity plan. It tells you how effective the business continuity plan is or how you can improve your recovery strategies. A successful business continuity plan must enable you to maintain the most important company functions, which reassure your partners, stakeholders, and customers. Communication is also key to making sure everyone understands what to do in case of a disruption.
You can implement various testing methods for business continuity. Ideally, you should employ as many testing methods as possible for smooth operational continuity management.
Here are some testing methods for the essential functions critical to your continuity planning.
1. Walk-Through This type of continuity planning testing involves the business continuity team members preparing a plan for specific scenarios or natural disasters. For example, they will conduct a drill response for earthquakes, natural disasters, and power outages. This testing method aims to assess the efficiency of the emergency response and disaster recovery plan. Any identified vulnerabilities should be addressed according to the assessment of the personnel responsible for ensuring that results could be improved.
2. TableTop Test A tabletop test involves the organization's executives. The goal is to develop the most efficient planning process for restoring the individual business functions, and the entire organization affected by potential threats. It will require a thorough analysis of the business units to highlight the most vulnerable units and develop ways to increase resiliency. This approach to continuity planning testing is to produce minimal downtime and employ minimum resources.
3. Disaster Simulation Testing This testing method aims to recreate the environment where a specific scenario or risk could occur. For example, a business that experienced cyber attacks must consider where the attack came from and how it can improve the information technology infrastructure in the office space. It's also important to look at the various policies employed in the workplace to avoid threats to critical business data and provide data backup and recovery strategies.
Once you implement your business continuity strategy and disaster recovery plan, the work is not done. It is an ongoing process of continuous testing and monitoring. Over time, new threats emerge, or existing threats take on a new form.
You should always conduct business continuity planning and keep it up to date. This step ensures that you can maintain business operations even as external conditions change.
Conducting the Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
Business impact analysis is a critical aspect of business continuity planning. While these two serve unique functions to the business, they are both important.
BIA precedes continuity planning. The identified business impacts will allow the business continuity team to identify potential threats, the extent of those threats, and the recovery priorities throughout the planning process.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to conduct your business impact analysis :
Identify the Scope of Impact Analysis
For large-scale companies, it's not always recommended that you involve all business units in your business continuity impact analysis. Identifying the essential business functions vital to ensuring business continuity is best. This approach will enable organizations to utilize minimum resources in continuity planning because you can focus those resources on the critical functions that help maintain operations.
For example, you have to identify at least seven functions that enable you to stay open despite potential risks and threats. It requires in-depth knowledge from your continuity planning team about the impact and role of every business unit. It's a must to interview individuals directly involved with every unit because they have in-depth knowledge of the critical processes and vulnerabilities.
Get the Team Involved
Another important step in conducting business continuity impact analysis is to help everyone in the organization understand the process value. It is especially important for senior leaders and process managers to understand the importance of business impact and risk analysis.
You need their support, but they might not understand what they're supposed to do or how they should aid in the planning process. Therefore, it is the BIA personnel's responsibility to educate them and get them on board.
Conduct BIA Interviews
Prepare a list of questions you must ask the personnel responsible for every business unit. Make sure you come prepared to have a list of the questions you must ask to get the information you need.
Focus those questions on the potential impact of any form of business disruption on the entire organization and the ways that you can manage those disruptions. When you're all set, it's time to conduct the BIA.
Analyse Your Data
Once the interviews are completed, you can gather the answers and formulate your data analysis. Use your findings to develop a detailed risk analysis of the critical business processes and units. Then, you must recommend an action plan to ensure you put the highest recovery priorities on the most important business processes.
Key Implementation Steps for Business Continuity Plan
To ensure the success of your operational continuity management, it is important to keep these tips in mind.
- Plan smart, not big. As mentioned above, it's not always a good idea to include all business functions in continuity planning. Focus your resources and time on the most critical ones to avoid crippling the entire organization if threats affect those areas. At the same time, you shouldn't plan for every possible eventuality. Identify all possible scenarios that could directly impact your business.
- Board engagement is critical to your success. It's important to get the senior-level leaders in planning and implementation. Getting everyone in the team's support ensures an efficient implementation process, as long as it is supported with proper communication.
- Test often! Your business continuity planning might seem effective, but you'll never know until you've tested them. Even the existing recovery strategies should be regularly evaluated and tested to identify gaps and respond to any vulnerabilities.
- Maintain good relationships with business partners, such as suppliers. They are an extension of your business, so ensure you include them in your business continuity plan. If not, they could seriously impact your business and its critical business operations.
The Bottom Line
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to business continuity planning. But one thing is for sure: all businesses (regardless of the size or number of employees) need one. It's the only way you can recover from a crisis or minimize the impact of threats to your business.
Business continuity planning is an essential part of operations for any business that wants to ensure that they have a strategy to effectively recover key activities and processes with minimal negative impact in the case of a business disruption, and the software from C2 can help any business to complete this activity and create a complete, fully comprehensive BCMS.
BCMS2 is a web-based tool designed to assist and alleviate the day-to-day management of a business continuity management system. It allows you to create, store, manage and distribute business continuity plans, plus simplifies the scheduling and carrying out of exercises, with results being reported automatically via the system.
Staff will be empowered with the knowledge of their roles and responsibilities in case of an incident utilising the tool which records and manages the activities assigned to each individual and the steps to be taken at each stage.
BCMS2 allows businesses to align and self-certify to ISO 22301, providing a competitive advantage, and the integrated notifications tool provides two-way SMS, mass email, Voice Messaging, Call Conferencing, and Bulletin Board functionality builds confidence amongst business leaders and their staff that regular two-way communication can be facilitated during an incident. Book a demo today to see it in action.
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As a proud COO of Continuity2, Lisa strives to provide intuitive and innovative solutions for the Business Resilience market and reshape the industry as we know it today. Lisa has been in the industry for over 10+ years, helping clients achieve their Business Continuity and Resilience objectives for continuous growth and success.
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What Is Business Continuity and Why Is It Important?
Posted by Alfie McDonald on September 6th 2022
Did you know 1 in 5 businesses suffer a disruption each year? Worse, 80% of businesses affected by disasters are forced to close within a month.
If you want to protect your business from damage, implementing policies and procedures for managing and responding to incidents is crucial. So, where do you start? We’ll show you. Get acquainted with business continuity testing and how to implement an effective plan in your company, below.
What is business continuity?
Business continuity planning means implementing procedures so your organisation can continue to operate as close to normal as possible during and after a disaster. These disasters could range from floods or fires to cyber-attacks and network errors.
The purpose of a business continuity plan is to document procedures for responding to incidents. This includes how you’ll manage and contain incidents, and continue operations while services are disrupted. For instance, if a cyber-attack disrupts your network and forces operations offline, you must consider how you’ll continue providing your services.
It’s also important to remember that a business continuity plan shouldn’t be confused with disaster recovery. Although related, disaster recovery is IT-specific and focuses on your systems, unlike business continuity which considers all areas of your company. Regardless, you should plan for both as part of your wider business objectives.
What does business continuity testing include?
A business continuity strategy can be divided into two areas—planning and management.
Business continuity management
You should consider a business continuity plan as a work in progress. Although it’s essential to have a set plan, you must regularly review, test, and update it.
Implementing a business continuity plan is as much about communicating responsibilities, running practice drills, and evaluating procedures, as it is about action plans in crisis. As such, you should arrange for ongoing business continuity management, reviewing and updating policies following a real or practice incident, and when new threats emerge.
What does business continuity testing guard against?
When assessing business continuity risk, you should think about all possible disasters. Doing so ensures you’re prepared, whether a simple network error, data breach, or fire. Some common disasters include:
- Natural disasters – Incidents like fire and floods can damage your business. In some cases, they may lead to total loss of your premises and contents.
- Global pandemics – If your business isn’t equipped for remote working, global pandemics can halt operations or even cause you to close completely.
- Network disruptions – Server downtime or interruptions can force employees offline, unable to access essential data, email inboxes, and other IT software critical for your business.
- Cyber-attacks – Malicious attacks can disrupt your IT systems and lead to more drastic consequences like data breaches and theft.
- Human error – Sometimes, disasters are caused by human error, such as downloading malicious software, deleting essential data, or even causing a fire.
Why is business continuity management critical?
Would you know what to do if a hacker accessed your network? What about if your business premises were set on fire? How would you respond? That’s why having a business continuity plan is essential. Should anything go wrong, you’ll already have an action plan for the ‘what if’ incidents, reducing unplanned downtime and subsequent financial and business risks.
Asides from mitigating disruptions business continuity plans have many other benefits:
- Save money – With plans, less money is spent recovering assets and information. Plus, alternative working arrangements mean you can continue business operations during incidents and avoid further financial risks.
- Save time – Less time is needed to decide on the action to take during a disaster, since everything is pre-determined. In addition, you can immediately activate your business continuity plans, ensuring incidents are managed quickly and effectively.
- Identify vulnerabilities – Business continuity plans allow you to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities, so you can take action before incidents occur. For instance, organising cloud backup of data, rather than storing it in an unsecured location.
- Maintain reputation – Preparing your organisation’s continuity plans helps you maintain your reputation in the event of a disaster, ensuring you can continue to provide customers with the service they expect.
- Enhance security – Planning for disruptions also means preventing them by encouraging businesses to step up their security practices. For instance, using additional cybersecurity measures to prevent data leaks.
- Increase efficiencies – A well-communicated business continuity plan can increase operational efficiencies throughout your workforce, encouraging employees to practice high security and be vigilant threats.
Start your business continuity planning
At BCN, we can guide your business through continuity planning from start to finish. Our industry-accredited team will work with you to assess potential threats and impacts, with a fully personalised, effective business continuity plan. Our three-step approach includes:
- Manage and evolve:Our team conducts ongoing success and metric tracking, guiding continuous improvements of your plan. Including day-to-day offsite backup checks, that our team responds to from the NOC as part of BCN Group’s proactive ticket process.
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Business Continuity Planning
Organize a business continuity team and compile a business continuity plan to manage a business disruption. Learn more about how to put together and test a business continuity plan with the videos below.
Business Continuity Plan Supporting Resources
- Business Continuity Plan Situation Manual
- Business Continuity Plan Test Exercise Planner Instructions
- Business Continuity Plan Test Facilitator and Evaluator Handbook
Business Continuity Training Videos
The Business Continuity Planning Suite is no longer supported or available for download.
Business Continuity Training Introduction
An overview of the concepts detailed within this training. Also, included is a humorous, short video that introduces viewers to the concept of business continuity planning and highlights the benefits of having a plan. Two men in an elevator experience a spectrum of disasters from a loss of power, to rain, fire, and a human threat. One man is prepared for each disaster and the other is not.
View on YouTube
Business Continuity Training Part 1: What is Business Continuity Planning?
An explanation of what business continuity planning means and what it entails to create a business continuity plan. This segment also incorporates an interview with a company that has successfully implemented a business continuity plan and includes a discussion about what business continuity planning means to them.
Business Continuity Training Part 2: Why is Business Continuity Planning Important?
An examination of the value a business continuity plan can bring to an organization. This segment also incorporates an interview with a company that has successfully implemented a business continuity plan and includes a discussion about how business continuity planning has been valuable to them.
Business Continuity Training Part 3: What's the Business Continuity Planning Process?
An overview of the business continuity planning process. This segment also incorporates an interview with a company about its process of successfully implementing a business continuity plan.
Business Continuity Training Part 3: Planning Process Step 1
The first of six steps addressed in this Business Continuity Training, which detail the process of building a business continuity plan. This step addresses how organizations should “prepare” to create a business continuity plan.
Business Continuity Training Part 3: Planning Process Step 2
The second of six steps addressed in this Business Continuity Training, which detail the process of building a business continuity plan. This step addresses how organizations should “define” their business continuity plan objectives.
Business Continuity Training Part 3: Planning Process Step 3
The third of six steps addressed in this Business Continuity Training, which detail the process of building a business continuity plan. This step addresses how organizations should “identify” and prioritize potential risks and impacts.
Business Continuity Training Part 3: Planning Process Step 4
The fourth of six steps addressed in this Business Continuity Training, which detail the process of building a business continuity plan. This step addresses how organizations should “develop” business continuity strategies.
Business Continuity Training Part 3: Planning Process Step 5
The fifth of six steps addressed in this Business Continuity Training, which detail the process of building a business continuity plan. This step addresses how organizations should define their “teams” and tasks.
Business Continuity Training Part 3: Planning Process Step 6
The sixth of six steps addressed in this Business Continuity Training, which detail the process of building a business continuity plan. This step addresses how organizations should “test” their business continuity plans.
Last Updated: 11/08/2023
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What is Business Continuity and why is it important?
- 15 June 2023
- Reading time: 8 min
Have you been working hard on your own business? Great! But did you know that whole of your business can collapse like a house of cards because of a major disaster or unforeseen problem? That's something you need to avoid at all times! You should therefore opt for Business Continuity. This way your business will always stand solid, even if it shakes on its foundations.
Business Continuity: its meaning simply explained
Downtime costs you much money, so what is disaster recovery, risks and threats to your business, natural disasters, cyber attacks, importance of a business continuity plan, business continuity management benefits, elements of a business continuity plan, business continuity services from combell, data protection, cloud backup, cloud replication, availability, multi-datacenter solution, disaster recovery, choose managed hosting, frequently asked questions about business continuity.
Download our ebook
You never know when disaster may strike. In this e-book, you'll learn some crucial steps you can take to minimize the impact of an unforeseen disaster on your organization's continuity.
Business Continuity is about the efforts you make to keep your business functioning during a problem or incident. Not drowning, but swimming. That means your employees can still work, business processes continue to run without problems and you have access to key data.
By doing Business Continuity Management (BCM), you can ensure that your workspace is available and that your network, servers, systems, applications and communications resources are not affected by downtime.
That word downtime is very important when it comes to Business Continuity. Make your own account for a moment. Can your business still function when you suddenly lose all customer data? When your billing programs are down for a long time? When your staff can't use computers for days on end? Or when your web shop is constantly down? Probably not.
If you want to know what downtime can cost your business, you can quickly calculate it with our online Downtime Cost Calculator . We warn you in advance: expect a hefty bill!
Business Continuity Management is often referred to as Disaster Recovery. Yet these two solutions are not at all identical.
What is Disaster Recovery, and why is it so important?
Disaster Recovery is in fact the next step in getting your business back on track. In this case, a disaster has actually occurred and you have failed to stay operational. You need it when your Business Continuity Plan fails, or lack thereof. Disaster Recovery gets you back in business.
So Disaster Recovery is more reactive, while Business Continuity Management works primarily proactively to keep your business up-and-running at all times.Although Disaster Recovery is just one part of your broader Business Continuity, it's best to pay due attention. Especially if your business is highly dependent on IT systems and data.
We don't have a crystal ball, so we can't predict what type of disaster could pose a major threat specifically to your business. But, of course, there are several potential risks and threats that can always cause a major impact.
One of the most important threats is a natural disaster. Think of f loods, windstorms, a lightning strike ... Such phenomena can have an immediate impact on your staff, company facilities and (IT) infrastructure. Because once the electricity goes out, you soon find yourself in trouble. Not to mention a fire ...
Other major risks occur in the online world. For example, hacking, data breach or some other type of cyber attack. As a business, you are increasingly dependent on technology and digital systems. This brings many benefits, but at the same time it makes you vulnerable to cybercrime.
Because cybercriminals know all too well that not every company is equally advanced in protecting and securing its data and IT environment.
Consequently, there are cyber attacks or attempts at them on a daily basis. If you are a victim, this can lead to major financial consequences, but also data loss, system failure and damage to your reputation. Because will customers still trust you after such an incident?
The 5 most common types of cyber attacks.
So, you better take steps to protect your business against such disasters and risks. One way to do that is to have an emergency plan ready, implement thoughtful security measures and evaluate your current business continuity procedures. True, that's not something that can be done in 1,2,3 but a good Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is critical.
Business continuity is ensured with a Business Continuity Plan. It is one (or more) document(s) that describes all possible problems or incidents that could affect your business and also includes a plan to survive them.
These could include natural disasters such as an earthquake, hurricane, tsunami, fire or flood, industrial action, but equally they could include data loss, downtime, cyber attacks, unexpected user spikes ... Those problems or incidents affect your business and profit margin to a greater or lesser extent. And they may lead to bankruptcy if you are not prepared for them.
Example of using a Business Continuity Plan
A Business Continuity Plan is important because it guarantees a quick restart after the event. In addition, with such a plan you identify weaknesses throughout all facets of your organization and determine concrete improvement actions. No two plans are identical; Business Continuity Management is invariably customized.
Discover some of the major benefits of implementing Business Continuity.
We already mentioned it: a BCP has to be customized. There is no standard formula. Everything depends on what your company looks like in terms of size and structure, services and sector. In general, we see that the following elements are often included in a Business Continuity Plan.
- Goals and structures. What are the priorities of your BCP? Which departments will be involved? What business processes, data and systems are essential to remain operative?
- Risk identification and impact analysis. Try to identify the most likely risks that your company may face as well as estimate the potential impact. An example would be a company located in a flood-prone area.
- Prevention . Document what you do or have planned on a daily basis to mitigate emergencies. For example, customized security , backups ...
- Crisis management . A clear description of the roles, responsibilities and lines of communication of the crisis team responsible for leading emergencies.
- Response and recovery plans. Provide detailed procedures and steps to follow during an emergency, including activating the BCP, restoring systems and data, and resuming your business operations.
- Communication plan. A plan within a plan. You use your communications plan to communicate internally and externally during an emergency. Map out who (customers, partners, upper management, suppliers, employees) needs to be notified when.
- Test and evaluate. Provide tests and evaluations of your Business Continuity Management at regular intervals. In this way, you will identify shortcomings and areas for improvement.
- Training. Provide training and awareness programs to familiarize your employees with the BCP, know their role during emergencies, and have them take the necessary steps at the time of disaster.
If you want to have your company's Business Continuity designed by external experts, you can collaborate with a Business Continuity Provider such as Combell. Our experienced professionals will guide you from A to Z: from the creation and implementation of your Business Continuity Plan to the protection of your data in case of system failure.
With a Business Continuity Provider, you can count on the necessary knowledge and infrastructure to advise and assist you. What does Combell have to offer? Among other things, a reliable solution for disaster recovery, secure data management, solid backups, cloud replication, duplicated data centers or guaranteed availability of your website or online applications.
Security only makes sense if it covers all layers of your organization. Whether it concerns the physical security of your data centers, malware protection or network security: Combell puts your data under lock and key.
Your data are regularly copied to a backup and stored in multiple secure locations. It is always accessible to you.
Cloud replication keeps an exact copy of all your virtual servers in the cloud. It is permanently available to you.
Your website or online application always and everywhere available? We look for the appropriate solution tailored to your needs and budget.
Redundant infrastructure in multiple locations for guaranteed uptime. That way you stay online, even if things go wrong in one of the data centers.
Disaster Recovery protects your infrastructure and data so that key IT systems are back up and running as quickly as possible after a disaster.
Combell puts on different hats without any problem. Also that of Managed Hosting Provider. With Managed Hosting, your Hosting Provider not only takes care of the hardware (the servers), but also of their management (services for maintenance).
Opting for Managed Hosting is worth considering, especially if you are in the process of implementing Business Continuity Management in your business.
You don't want to mis these benefits:
Protect your business with Business Continuity ManagementIt may be clear: Business Continuity keeps your company afloat, even in very difficult circumstances. Therefore, choose - literally - a plan of action that fits your company to perfection.
Talk to Combell and discuss the possibilities. In any case, you can count on our best hosting and cloud solutions.
Moreover, we constantly focus on security, with advanced measures to protect your company data against threats. The scalability and flexibility we offer allow you to quickly add or scale down resources, depending on the needs during an emergency.
What is Business Continuity?
Business Continuity Management (BCM) is about the efforts that an enterprise makes to continue functioning during a problem or incident. With BCM, the main priority is to avoid downtime.
What elements are contained in a Business Continuity Plan (BCP)?
Each Business Continuity Plan (BCP) must be custom developed. Certain elements or components often appear in different plans. These include communication planning, recovery, backup, crisis management, prevention and evaluation.
Why is Business Continuity important?
Business Continuity in your operations is important because you can minimise the impact of a disaster. This is important for the future of your business. If you have not thought about this, it could have disastrous consequences for your business. In the very worst case, even bankruptcy.
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COVID-19 – What Is Business Continuity Planning And Why It Is Important In A Crisis?
- Written by Rob Biedron
- 15 min read
Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
The wisdom of this adage has become more apparent, and valuable, than ever before as businesses around the world continue to find their footing during the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. The coronavirus looms large in boardrooms and newsrooms across the globe, but the truth is that businesses that want to survive any kind of disaster—from pandemics to international conflicts to ecological devastation—need a firm understanding of business continuity planning .
A little hope is rarely a bad thing, but planning for the worst goes a long way toward keeping a business alive when it matters most. By following some basic best practices, your company can develop a business continuity plan (BCP) that’s comprehensive, flexible, and readily implemented.
What is Business Continuity Planning?
Like a lot of other business processes, business continuity planning involves identifying a specific need and developing ways to meet it. In the case of a business continuity plan, the needs involved are maintaining productivity and critical business functions, preventing (or minimizing damage), and supporting recovery when disaster strikes.
As the coronavirus has so chillingly demonstrated, calamity plays no favorites when it comes to business disruptions. Small businesses and megacorporations alike rely on business continuity planning to formalize, document, and implement the emergency management protocols, processes, and policies that will help them avoid or mitigate disruption—or even destruction.
Though it may often be confused or conflated with a disaster recovery plan , a business continuity plan is actually more comprehensive. In fact, it often incorporates a disaster recovery plan as one of its primary components.
Every organization has its own unique approach to business continuity planning, but in general it will have defined by three primary strategies:
Prevention: The policies, procedures, and any specific actions a company takes to prevent business disruptions when disaster strikes. For example, a company might invest in backup sources of gas, electricity, and water, either in the form of private reserves or alternative sourcing, generators, etc. To take another example, companies whose essential operations can be performed regardless of location might invest in remote work solutions and resources for emergencies. Or they might take a proactive approach and shift to remote team management as standard operating procedure.
Response: The policies, procedures, and protocols implemented to maintain essential business operations when a serious business disruption takes place, regardless of origin. Includes specific responses for various contingencies, including natural disasters, pandemics, international conflict or war, labor issues, etc. Also includes evacuation, safety, and communication protocols.
Recovery: The policies, procedures, and protocols used to help guide the organization back to successful and normal operations. Includes contingency plans and workarounds for short- and long-term disaster recovery planning (for example, an alternative offsite production facility used for six months while the primary facility is repaired, upgraded, etc.). Also includes a specific recovery timeline made up of recovery time objectives (RTO) for physical and operational resolutions and recovery point objectives (RPO) for those related to data recovery and management.
RPOs will be especially important for any company that relies heavily on data for its essential operations or business process management—a description that applies to quite a few companies of all sizes in the age of Big Data . A plan to secure your data backups for reliable access and recovery once the dust settles is essential to business continuity in the twenty-first century, where everything from customer data to sales and accounting figures to irreplaceable intellectual property (IP) live in the datasphere.
Guarding against lost profits, damage to reputation with customers, suppliers, and the public at large, and loss of staff and resources are all part of the “Prevention, Response, and Recovery” (PRR) approach to building a business continuity plan. Not every business will have the same approach, but you can start with a basic plan and customize it to fit your specific business needs.
Why Business Continuity Planning Matters
Every business, no matter its size, vertical, or culture, is susceptible to disruption. Certain businesses are especially vulnerable to industry-specific disruptions; for example, restaurants struggling to survive due to loss of custom during coronavirus lockdowns have found themselves scrambling for revenue (and survival) in ways grocery stores have not. But having a specific and detailed plan in place to navigate nasty surprises like pandemics, war, cyberattacks, and both natural and man-made disasters can make or break a business.
This is particularly true in a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. Damaged supply chains, a scattered, homebound workforce, radically altered consumer habits, and essential contagion control measures such as social distancing and government-issued lockdowns have sent not just service-oriented restaurants, barber shops, and hair salons, but countless businesses into tailspins from which they may never recover without effective business continuity planning.
By developing or modifying a business continuity plan—even in the middle of a crisis—companies strengthen their ability to react effectively and survive to fight another day.
Crafting Your Own Business Continuity Plan
Guarding against lost profits, damage to reputation with customers, suppliers, and the public at large, and loss of staff and resources are all part of the “Prevention, Response, and Recovery” (PRR) approach to building a business continuity plan. Not every business will have the same business continuity management style, but you can start with a basic plan and customize it to fit your specific business needs.
1. Identify the Scope, Objective, and Goals of the Plan
The business continuity planning process starts with identifying the needs you’d like to meet (i.e., needs analysis) and setting goals to do so.
- How detailed should the plan be?
- What department(s) will the plan cover?
- How will each department’s plan interact with the plans of others, and the overall BCP for the business itself?
- What landmarks and milestones are being tracked to monitor the plan’s success?
- Training time
- Research and preparation
- Additional resources to implement the plan
2. Assemble Your Business Continuity Team
Like many other major projects, developing detailed business continuity plans for your business is easier to monitor and complete with a dedicated team assigned to its execution. They are, in effect, the “first responders” when disaster strikes. Document all assigned roles and responsibilities for each team member, along with their contact information.
For BCP, you’ll likely create two types of teams:
Command and Control Teams : These specialized teams are focused on crisis and recovery management. They oversee execution of the plan itself and manage all resources assigned to the BCP. Some of the sub-teams falling under this category include Crisis Management, Risk Management, Recovery Management, and Overall BCP Support and Implementation.
Task-Oriented Teams: These specialized teams cover specific areas of the PRR process within your organization, including:
- Information Technology (IT) and cybersecurity
- Disaster recovery
- Supply chain management
- Internal and external communications, including alternate communications and public relations.
- Damage assessment and recovery
3. Perform a Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
When you identify and review the potential threats that could negatively impact each of the areas your BCP addresses, that’s a business impact analysis. A BIA is used to document critical business operations and the staff, applications, procedures, and other resources required to ensure essential operations continue when the company is experiencing a business disruption.
Ideally, your BIA will include multiple scenarios identifying recovery planning options for multiple levels of severity, from minor disruptions to cataclysmic disasters.
4. Document Critical Business Functions and Aspects
When cataloguing your critical business functions, prioritize them as low, medium, or high impact according to their importance to the company’s survival. Consider the following questions when ranking:
- What business objectives are dependent on this function?
- How many business units or departments are affected by it?
- What specialized resources, time constraints, and other limitations are connected to this function?
- What kind of damage would be created by downtime or disrupting this function—reputation, revenue, operations, etc.?
- Can this function be virtualized, automated, or moved offsite?
5. Develop and Document PRR Strategies
During this phase, your team can use the knowledge obtained during the BIA to create PRR strategies.
6. Design and Implement Testing, Training, and Revision Procedures
Once the plan is complete and the prevention, response, and recovery strategies have been documented, the team can create and document testing and training.
Testing puts the BCP to the test, via specific tactical exercises meant to simulate the disasters covered in the plan.
Training makes sure everyone in your organization is familiar with the BCP and their roles and responsibilities within it. It also prepares them for testing.
The best testing and training exercises have clear parameters, easily understood instructions for everyone involved, and an opportunity for participants to provide post-exercise feedback.
Note: Testing takes on special importance during an actual crisis, as your company’s response to a real-world disaster will generate invaluable data you can use to further refine your BCP and improve your future efficiency and efficacy.
7. Establish Program Maintenance and Optimization Protocols
No reliable business continuity plan is set in stone. It’s a living document that can, and should, grow and evolve to meet the changing needs of your business. Part of the BCP teams’ responsibilities includes establishing a periodic review and optimization program to review and refine your BCP to ensure it’s at peak performance.
The BCP itself should include specific procedures for review and revision, as well as triggers for updates due to:
- Organizational changes
- External threats (war, natural disasters, pandemics such as COVID-19, etc.)
- Changes to corporate culture
- Significant alterations to the company’s digital environment or IT systems
In addition to performing a new needs analysis and BIA annually (or more frequently, depending on your company’s approach), you may want to consider an external review of your BCP with a consultant to provide fresh perspectives and perhaps identify pain points not readily visible to folks inside the system.
Plan Ahead to Guard Against Business Disruptions
In the new normal, the business of doing business is as uncertain and unnerving as life itself. Business continuity planning may not be able to remove this uncertainty, but it does give businesses a set of powerful tools they can use to prevent disruption from becoming destruction.
By developing and implementing a business continuity plan, your company is investing in its own continued survival when things get rough, and laying the groundwork for a confident and capable recovery.
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Why Your Business Needs a Business Continuity Plan
- by Audrey Quiteves on July 23, 2023
- last update on July 21, 2023
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Most organizations are no strangers to plans. Whether succession planning, business strategy, or marketing campaigns, planning is vital in ensuring all bases are covered from start to finish.
Among the areas that require planning within an organization, business continuity and disaster recovery stand out as crucial. These aspects are instrumental in maintaining the stability of your business’s skeletal structure and operations, especially during challenging circumstances.
In this article, we will delve into the importance of business continuity planning, its fundamentals, and how it can enhance your company’s resilience.
What is Business Continuity Planning?
Business continuity planning is the development of a strategic management plan to prepare an organization for responding to and recovering from various crises, such as natural disasters, pandemics, or cyberattacks. Inadequate management of a business crisis can lead to significant expenses and reputational damage. Stakeholders are often unforgiving during such times, making it essential to have a well-prepared business continuity plan in place.
What is the importance of a business continuity plan?
A business continuity plan (BCP), which is an executive-approved document for managing disruptions, serves as a definitive blueprint outlining the actions to be taken by everyone involved to maintain operations throughout and after a catastrophe. Specifically, the business continuity plan supports critical aspects such as workflow operations, customer service response, workforce communication, information flow, and business security.
What is the goal of a business continuity plan? It is crucial in mitigating the risks associated with losses and the aftermath of a crisis. Such a plan offers peace of mind to both management and employees, creating a secure work environment where clear policies are in place to guide response and recovery efforts during crises.
Business Continuity Planning vs Disaster Recovery
While natural disasters can trigger crises, business continuity extends beyond disaster recovery. Business continuity encompasses the comprehensive implementation plan that ensures the continuous operation of critical business functions. On the other hand, disaster recovery is a specific component of the business continuity plan that primarily focuses on restoring the organization’s IT infrastructure and data after disruptions.
Top Reasons Why Business Continuity Planning is Important
It is important to understand that a business continuity plan is not merely a backup plan to restore revenue. There are numerous compelling reasons why even small businesses should prioritize preparing such a plan. Let’s explore the key motivations behind initiating your business continuity planning.
1. Minimize Downtime and Losses
Whatever your business goals are or wherever industry, your company cannot afford downtime. Understanding and implementing instantly what to do in case of disruptions is one of the main benefits of a business continuity plan. Remember that the longer the downtime, the higher potential for financial loss.
Business continuity planning makes it possible to keep your business running and mitigate financial loss by establishing actions to take, whatever the nature of the disruption. For instance, if the current physical office becomes inaccessible due to natural disasters, can your system support remote work and resources for employees? Or, if the power goes out and the server or network can’t be accessed, is there a backup server or data center?
A strong business continuity plan takes into account the potential losses when downtime occurs in a matter of minutes to days and weeks. It defines the procedures of how the company should function and continue to be stable to communicate to all stakeholders and customers — eventually, ensuring continuous flow of revenue and trust.
2. Anticipate Risks and Threats
Constant discussion and application of the BCP ensures that the business continuity management team is examining the potential risks, threats, and accidents that the company may face. Disasters are not limited to natural causes. In today’s business, organizations are expected to face a myriad of challenges, from power disruptions and global pandemics to targeted cybercrimes and data destruction.
Proper business continuity planning allows the consideration of all the possible disruptions within your industry, location, and even on a global scale. Identifying these risks may prevent losses by establishing response and recovery procedures.
3. Ensure Customer Confidence and Safeguard Reputation
During times of crisis, your customers become more discerning about your actions and responses. They expect your business to effectively navigate through disaster situations. Resuming operations promptly and effectively after a crisis can significantly contribute to building trust with your customers.
Additionally, your customers represent one of the most valuable assets of your company, and it is crucial to safeguard the information they have entrusted to you. Establishing a contingency plan outlines the necessary measures to take in the event of cyberattacks and data breaches.
Having a robust business continuity plan in place signals to customers that they have made the right choice in selecting your product or service, leading them to continue their patronage. This, in turn, can have a positive impact on your brand reputation. Companies that demonstrate preparedness and consistency in effectively managing crises convey their resilience and stability to their consumers and the world at large.
4. Enhance Employee Safety and Well-being
When a company is affected by disasters or crises, it can be challenging to focus on work. However, in such situations, it is crucial to prioritize the safety and well-being of your workforce. Safety extends beyond physical health and includes mental well-being as well.
Amidst the global pandemic, businesses have experienced widespread disruption, leading many employers to adopt remote work arrangements and implement mental health programs to support their employees. A well-prepared business continuity plan plays a vital role in swiftly accounting for employee safety and providing necessary support for them to continue working during and after crises.
Furthermore, when employees are confident in the plans and decisions made by management, they become more determined and focused on their work. By establishing a well-communicated business continuity plan, you reassure your employees of their safety. This then can enhance employee productivity, improve operational efficiencies, and foster heightened vigilance against security threats.
5. Gain Competitive Advantage
Another benefit of a business continuity plan is gaining a competitive edge over your rivals. Effectively restoring business operations, recovering networks, updating data access, and reconnecting employees to customers all contribute to enhancing corporate governance and positioning your company as a reliable brand. A robust business continuity plan guarantees that you are prepared to navigate disruptions, delivering uninterrupted services that set you apart from the competition.
The Fundamentals of Business Continuity Planning
The purpose of a business continuity plan is to identify, address, and reduce the risk of potential disruptions while maintaining business functions. Below are the key components of business continuity planning:
1. The emergency response team
To initiate the BCP process, it is crucial to form a dedicated response team comprising managers or leaders who can contribute valuable insights. This team holds the responsibility of actively engaging in the recovery process and overseeing specific tasks like restoring systems and operations. It is essential to select individuals who possess the ability to drive progress and make decisions when required.
2. Risk assessment and business impact analysis (BIA)
Before formulating strategies and procedures for your business functions, identify first the potential threats to your business and assess its vulnerable areas. Conducting a business impact analysis enables your company to understand the potential consequences of disruptions and losses on your financial and operational functions. This analysis helps evaluate which resources and assets should be prioritized for recovery and aids in the development of effective recovery procedures.
3. Business continuity strategies and solutions
Based on the risk assessment and analysis conducted, recovery strategies and procedures can be developed to uphold business functions and prioritize resources accordingly. These strategies encompass key components that are crucial for effective recovery:
- Emergency response plan — This entails a comprehensive set of guidelines aimed at minimizing the overall disruption impact on the business and ensuring workforce safety. It should include protocols for emergency response communication, evacuation routes, and emergency contact information.
- Crisis management — This plan outlines the contingency measures for communication, activities of key personnel, incident remediation, and decision-making during a crisis. It ensures that there is a structured approach to managing the crisis effectively.
- Operations restoration — The operational recovery plan focuses on safeguarding human resources and business assets while restoring essential functions following a crisis or emergency. This plan involves determining recovery time objectives, formulating strategies for security measures, work environment restoration, data center recovery, and establishing communication protocols.
4. Business continuity testing
Once the BCP has been formulated and approved, conduct regular tests and updates to ensure its effectiveness. Business continuity planning is not a one-time activity; it is an ongoing process that requires continuous evaluation and improvement. Regular testing improves predictability, minimizes risks, and keeps your plans updated and aligned with the constantly changing business landscape. By consistently reviewing and refining your BCP, you can enhance its reliability and increase the likelihood of successfully navigating through future disruptions.
FAQs About Business Continuity Planning
If you’re seeking to enhance your business continuity plan, explore our FAQs to find answers to your questions.
What is the goal of a business continuity plan?
The main purpose of a business continuity plan is to ensure the organization is prepared to respond to and recover from emergencies and disruptions, such as natural disasters and cyberattacks. This planning is a process of identifying the potential risks and formulating solutions to minimize the negative impact of such risks.
Why is business continuity planning important for preparing for natural disasters?
During natural disasters, business continuity planning proves beneficial to organizations by expediting recovery efforts through implementing mechanisms aimed at mitigating financial risks, minimizing downtime, and ensuring the safety of employees. BCPs encompass comprehensive measures and protocols to address all organizational risks in the event of natural disasters like floods, fires, or earthquakes.
Is business continuity planning only relevant for large organizations?
Of course not! No matter the size — small or enterprise — and wherever industry, every organization must be performing business continuity planning. If an organization does not plan for continuity, the management and workforce are not prepared to react and pick up from the occurrence of disruptions and their negative impacts.
Can business continuity planning help organizations respond to cyberattacks?
Yes! Your business continuity planning must cover every threat to your organization, including cybercrimes. Even with the most advanced security features, you may not be safe from data breaches which may cost you financial and information losses. A solid business continuity plan implements cybersecurity risk assessment to develop strategies for prevention and recovery from cyber threats.
What are the key components of a business continuity plan?
The key components of a BCP are the elements needed from conceptualization to implementation. These key elements include: the crisis management team, risk assessments, business impact analysis, strategies for prevention, response and recovery, and BCP testing.
Download our free actionable guide to business continuity planning to see how these components build your BCP.
How often should a business continuity plan be reviewed and updated?
As a best practice, your BCP must be reviewed and updated annually at a minimum. Business changes, industry changes, and other external factors must also be considered to be promptly reflected when updating the business continuity plan.
Create a Business Continuity Plan with Board Technology
Whether it’s a natural disaster or a cyberattack, unexpected situations can arise. A well-prepared business continuity plan, coupled with the necessary resources, is vital to enable companies to maintain their market positions and swiftly recover from adverse circumstances, ensuring minimal disruption to normal operations.
In the digital era, advanced technologies can play a significant role in developing a comprehensive business continuity plan. This development process should be a collaborative effort, incorporating insights from both management and staff.
To streamline collaboration, consider leveraging Convene, the trusted board management software , equipped with interactive and secure features that facilitate effective planning. Convene empowers meetings with video conferencing capabilities to easily communicate assessments and strategies for business continuity. Moreover, the software allows secure document management to collaborate on risk assessments and reports and store them in a secure, resilient repository.
Explore the many more features of Convene and discover how it can enhance your board meetings, document management, and overall business continuity efforts.
Audrey is a Content Marketing Specialist at Convene, in charge of managing the production of quality content on the company’s website. A communication major keen on marketing, Audrey has been constantly seeking approaches to create tailored content—may it be about governance, digitalization, boards, or meetings—fit for the stakeholders. When not strategizing on the next ebook to produce, Audrey finds solitude in reading make-you-ugly-cry novels and listening to self-improvement podcasts.
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The importance of Business Continuity Planning is something that almost every organization has been forced to deal with due to recent events. However, before hastily implementing continuity plans, we must implement more than just a "catch all" response to disasters.
The ability of an organization to recover from a disaster is directly related to the degree of BCP [Business Continuity Planning] that has taken place BEFORE the disaster. Industry analysts claim that two out of five businesses that experience a disaster will go out of business within five years of the event.
Business Continuity Plans are critical to the transparent and continuous operation of all types of businesses. More importantly, these strategies are assuming increased importance as companies become increasingly reliant on technology to do business. As companies place more emphasis on IT and communications services - to support their customer communications and transactions, or to help manage supply chains - they become less tolerant of information and service loss as a consequence of disasters. Advanced Planning
Most companies now realize that it is not sufficient to implement a generic, "one size fits all" Business Continuity Plan. For an effective response, with respect to maintaining operational continuity, it must be customized to specific risks and catastrophic scenarios which could range from major building loss to local system failure.
Organizations must plan for the recovery of key business functions, using priorities and timescales derived from assessed risks and accompanying data. Business Continuity Plans must cover perquisites for IT, data and voice communications as well as for essential personnel and offsite locations. In today's world, it is no longer sufficient for an organization to recover its technology and communications infrastructure; it must have people available and accommodations in which they can work.
The current economic climate, as well as the elevated awareness of threats that include hackers, cyber-terrorists, natural and unnatural disasters, have all played their part in bringing Business Continuity Planning to the top of CEO and CTO concerns. Now, more than ever, it is critical for organizations to maintain operational effectiveness and flexibility in any scenario.
4Service takes a different approach to Business Continuity Planning. By applying our proprietary risk analysis and management methodologies, which have consistently proven successful in multiple implementations, an organization can assess and prioritize the specific risks faced by each department of its enterprise, in the event of a catastrophe. It can then identify its critical business processes, and organize priorities and timescales for recovery.
Subsequently, the company identifies its preferred options for achieving organizational recovery in the event of each different type of failure. This involves compiling data on all possible scenarios and then using it to simulate adverse effects on the organization's people, processes, IT and communications services and locations.
On the basis of a mutually agreed upon strategy, a focused, "organization-specific" disaster recovery plan is then developed that encompasses the organization's overall strategy, business recovery concerns, and a detailed action plan and related responsibilities for various disaster scenarios.
Natural disasters are not the only threats to your business operations. Hackers, for example, could seriously undermine an enterprise's entire operation. To counter this threat, it's essential to use results generated from risk analysis and management activity to undertake focused, organization-specific security testing, including vulnerability assessment and penetration testing of the network infrastructure.
Where an incident causes a company to close down its entire network, it is vital that employees and other users get access to their data and applications as quickly and securely as possible. To achieve this, companies can deploy various information management solutions which automate many manual network management procedures.
Despite the attention given to Business Continuity Planning following recent terrorist activities, companies are still failing to put strategic contingency plans in place. Analyst firm Gartner, for example, estimates that only 35% have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place and fewer than 10% have crisis management, contingency, business recovery and business resumption plans.
This is an alarming statistic, considering the high cost of not successfully "expecting the unexpected". In the event of a disaster, at best you could lose hundreds, thousands, or even millions of dollars through lost productivity. At worst you could go out of business without a second chance.
What's The Worst That Could Happen?
1. When developing your Business Continuity Plan, consider the following: 2. What are the specific risks to your organization? (Risks include hackers, terrorism and natural disasters) 3. What effect would these have on your business? 4. If all your hard-copy finance records were destroyed, would you able to prove what payments you've made, and what customers owe you? 5. How can you recover? 6. How long will that take, what will it cost, and how effective is the solution? 7. Prioritization is a critical component of any DR plan. Is it more important to have your website up and running, or your phone system connected? 8. What about your employees? 9. You must recover your data and systems, but employees need to know where to report to work. If your offices are unavailable, where are you going to do business? 10. What can you do to prevent or minimize the effects of a disaster? 11. For example, if hacking is a real threat to your company, how can you improve systems security and enhance penetration testing?
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Technology advice for small businesses, importance of a business continuity plan.
Why make a business continuity plan?
Having a BCP for your company has several benefits. One of the most obvious is that your business can continue its everyday operations, thus allowing you to keep making sales. Aside from this, there are other advantages:
- Possible to work in remote locations – In the event that your office can’t be used because of disaster, you’ll know how to keep key business functions running by thinking ahead about how employees or key personnel can continue working from remote locations. You may also have a certain place ready to be used as your temporary office if needed.
- Downtime can be lessened – When disaster strikes it can stop your business operations immediately. Without a business continuity plan, you have to figure out what to do next the moment it happens. However, if you have an existing plan in place, you can immediately start to execute what needs to be done so that you get your business up and running in no time. Time means money in every business and that’s why it’s important not to waste any time unnecessarily.
- Continue to provide for your customers – If your business operations stop, your customers may start trying out other products or services from other companies. They may forget about you if they don’t feel your presence. Since a successful BCP will keep you up and running, you’ll be able to keep hold of your loyal customers and even continue to make new ones, especially if your competitors do not have a business continuity plan and are afflicted with adverse circumstances too.
Factors to consider when creating a BCP
Since every business is unique, there’s no single BCP that works for all. However, there are common factors that must be considered by every company when devising one.
- People to manage a BCP – As with any project or program, there should be a committee to take over the management of the business continuity process. This is unlikely to be achieved by a single person. It is best being a collaborative effort, where people have specific roles such as appointing an executive sponsor that takes care of funds and coordinators who oversee the overall process.
- Analysis of business impact – You need to determine which products and services are the most important to your business operations. Ranking your products according to how critical their impact to your business is will help you determine which products to prioritize during the recovery phase. With this in mind, you can prevent bigger losses and maximize the efficiency of your recovery process.
After determining which products, services, and functions are most vital to your business, you can start creating a plan on what to do in the event of a disaster. It should clearly tell the process that must be followed, as well as the specific roles of individuals. There are existing sample plans that you can find on the Web and you can follow the format of a business in the same industry and customize the plan to suit your individual company.
Your BCP plan must be studied carefully for quality. Every area should be reviewed properly to ensure the plan is a success. Since the needs and processes of the company may change, it’s also important to review the plan once or twice a year to ensure that it’s still appropriate for your business.
If you are truly serious about establishing business security, a BCP isn’t a process that you can easily neglect. Remember, you never know when a disaster can strike! The sooner you get a plan of action, the better. Contact us today to see how we can help you develop a plan that will work for your business.
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11 ways to start business continuity planning at your credit union
Implementing Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is crucial for credit unions to ensure uninterrupted services and safeguard the interests of their members in the face of various disruptions. Below are 11 ways to start Business Continuity Planning at your credit union.
- Understanding your credit union:
Begin by comprehensively understanding your credit union’s operations. Identify key financial services, member interactions and critical processes that need to function seamlessly. This understanding forms the basis of your continuity planning.
- Compliance and regulatory requirements:
Familiarize yourself with the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) and National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) regulatory requirements specific to credit unions. Ensure your BCP aligns with these regulations.
- Risk assessment:
Conduct a thorough risk assessment. Identify potential risks such as natural disasters , cyber threats, power outages or pandemics. Evaluate the impact and likelihood of these risks on your credit union’s operations and prioritize them based on severity and likelihood.
- Dedicated BCP team:
Form a BCP team comprised of individuals from the Senior Management Team and various departments within your credit union. Assign specific roles and responsibilities to team members. Clear delineation of tasks ensures a coordinated and efficient response during a crisis.
- Critical function identification:
Identify critical functions and processes that are essential for your credit union’s survival. This could include ACH processing, ATM services, online banking, liquidity, loan processing and member communication. Devise strategies to ensure these functions continue without interruptions.
- Data protection and backup:
Implement robust data protection measures. Regularly back up sensitive member data and financial records. Store backups securely off-site. Test data recovery processes to ensure the swift restoration of member information in case of data loss. A BCP provider can help with this step by automatically backing up your credit union’s data and frequently testing the data recovery process.
- Member communication plan:
Develop a comprehensive communication plan. Establish multiple communication channels to keep staff, members and stakeholders informed during disruptions. Notify them about the status of services, alternative methods of access and any necessary instructions.
- Collaboration with service providers:
Collaborate with third party service providers, including technology vendors and payment processors. Ensure they have their BCPs in place and can seamlessly support your credit union’s operations during emergencies. Remember: test these connections in advance; don’t wait until you’re facing a continuity event to ensure proper continuation of services.
- Training and drills:
Educate your staff about BCP protocols through training sessions. Conduct regular exercises and simulations to evaluate the effectiveness of your plan and team. These exercises help identify gaps and areas for improvement.
- Review and continuous improvement:
Regularly review and update your BCP based on lessons learned from drills or real incidents. Stay abreast of emerging threats and technologies. Continuously improve your plan to enhance your credit union’s resilience. Your team should have a thorough debriefing session immediately after every drill and real event to evaluate what went well and what can be improved.
- Documentation and reporting:
Maintain detailed documentation of your BCP, including procedures, contact lists and recovery plans. Regularly update this documentation and ensure that all staff members have access to the latest version. Report BCP progress and activities to senior management and board members regularly.
In summary, Business Continuity Planning involves understanding your credit union, complying with regulations, conducting risk assessments, forming a dedicated team, identifying critical functions, protecting data, establishing member communication channels, collaborating with third party service providers, providing staff training, continuous plan improvement and maintaining comprehensive documentation. By following these steps, your credit union can build a robust business continuity plan that ensures member satisfaction and operational stability even during challenging times.
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Why business continuity planning is important?
A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is a document that outlines how an organization will prepare for, respond to, and recover from any type of disruptive event. It identifies potential threats, assesses the impact of those threats, and outlines strategies to maintain or quickly restore operations in the event of a disruption.
The goal of a BCP is to ensure that the organization can continue to operate in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Business Continuity Planning: Why You Should Care
Business continuity planning is essential for any organization, as it helps ensure that the company can continue to operate in the event of an emergency or disaster. A comprehensive business continuity plan will help minimize losses, maintain customer confidence, and ensure that operations can be resumed in a timely manner. By having a plan in place, organizations can be better prepared to respond quickly and effectively to any disruption. Additionally, a business continuity plan can help organizations identify potential risks and develop strategies to mitigate them.
Business continuity plans can be created by anyone within the organization, also by a company like H-X who has the knowledge and experience to do so. This could include IT personnel, management, or a third-party consultant. It is important that the plan is created with input from all relevant stakeholders, including employees, customers, and suppliers. The plan should also be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that it remains up-to-date and relevant.
Benefits Of Having A Business Continuity Plan
- Improved Resilience: A business continuity plan ensures that essential operations and services can continue in the event of an emergency or disaster. This helps to ensure that the organization can remain resilient and recover quickly.
- Reduced Risk: By having a plan in place, organizations can identify potential risks and develop strategies to mitigate them. This helps to reduce the risk of disruption and minimize losses.
- Increased Efficiency: A business continuity plan can help organizations streamline operations and improve efficiency by identifying areas where processes can be improved or streamlined.
- Improved Customer Confidence: Having a plan in place shows customers that the organization is prepared to handle any potential disruptions and is committed to providing quality service. This helps to improve customer confidence and can lead to increased sales and loyalty.
Companies need a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) for the following reasons:
- To Prepare for Disruptions: A business continuity plan helps organizations prepare for potential disruptions and minimize the impact on operations. It outlines what steps to take in the event of an emergency or disaster, helping to ensure that essential services can continue uninterrupted.
- To Reduce Risk: A BCP helps to identify potential risks and develop strategies to mitigate them. This helps to reduce the risk of disruption and minimize losses.
- To Improve Efficiency: A BCP can help organizations streamline operations and improve efficiency by identifying areas where processes can be improved or streamlined.
- To Maintain Compliance: Many organizations are required to have a BCP in place in order to comply with regulations or industry standards. Having a plan in place helps organizations meet these requirements and avoid costly fines or penalties.
In addition to the above reasons, Business Continuity Planning is an essential part of any organization’s risk management strategy. It helps ensure that organizations are better prepared for unexpected events and can quickly respond and recover from disruptions. A BCP can also help organizations save money, improve customer service , comply with regulations, and improve employee morale. By taking the time to create and maintain a comprehensive BCP, organizations can ensure that they are better prepared for whatever the future may bring.
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Abdul Aziz Mondol is a professional blogger who is having a colossal interest in writing blogs and other jones of calligraphies. In terms of his professional commitments, he loves to share content related to business, finance, technology, and the gaming niche.
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