Business continuity management (BCM) is about identifying what your business can’t afford to lose – information, inventory, premises, staff – and planning how to maintain them if a disruptive incident occurs: large or small, natural, accidental or deliberate. But while this may seem a daunting prospect, determining your business continuity management strategy and response can be more straightforward than you might think.
Getting started with business continuity management
If you’re implementing BCM for the first time in your organisation, you can kick-start the process by considering a handful of key questions common to any organisation:
- What are your most important products or services?
- What activities and resources are critical to delivering them?
- What are the risks of these activities, and what is the likelihood of these risks occurring?
- In the event of a disruption, how would you maintain these activities for a day? Up to 48 hours? For a week? Or more?
- What people, premises, technologies, information, and partners would you need to do so?
Who is accountable for business continuity management?
You’ll need to appoint people who will be responsible for defining and managing your complete BCM program. Responsibility for BCM falls into three broad roles: sponsorship, ownership, and custodianship. It’s vital to get management buy-in, and sponsors and owners should include your CFO, COO, CRO or CIO (or their direct reports), since business continuity is a financial, operational and risk and compliance issue, not just an IT issue.BCM Framework Blog Image
It’s also good to nominate one senior individual with ultimate responsibility for coordinating your BC program development, and at lower levels of management, assign tactical responsibility for documenting and updating the plan, and providing training and awareness.