By Sungard AS
The disasters and disruptions that can befall businesses come in many shapes and sizes. But so do the excuses we hear as to why business and IT leaders put off business continuity planning.
"It'll take too much time/money/manpower to put together". "We have more important day-to-day things to worry about". "Our company isn't big enough to warrant a formal business continuity plan". And even "We've backed up our data so that's business continuity taken care of, right?". So, we've set out to counter the three biggest and most frequently heard misconceptions around business continuity planning for growing companies.
Any business – from a multinational corporation to a solopreneur – has common goals when it comes to planning for the unexpected: to be able to minimise any loss of revenue and customers, and to protect their brand or professional reputation. Having a documented business continuity plan builds customer trust and confidence in your ability to resume or reopen quickly in the face of disruption, which can be a distinct competitive advantage. What's more, under acutely stressful circumstances, you may find it very difficult to remember priorities and take a clear-headed course of action without a documented plan to refer to.
Smaller organisations are actually at the greatest risk of being put out of business altogether by a disaster, particularly if they have failed to identify potential threats or underestimated the severity of known threats. They also tend to operate from a single location, which makes them more vulnerable to any damage or disruption that befalls their premises than larger companies, who can spread their risks financially and geographically.
Effective business continuity planning doesn't need a big budget or specialist training. Anyone in your company with a good working knowledge of your operations and the ability to think laterally can wear the business continuity planner's hat. If you're not sure where to start, our business continuity/disaster recovery plan template can guide you through the process and reduce the effort involved in developing one from scratch. It doesn't have to be hundreds of pages long – it just needs to contain the right type of information and be kept current and accurate.
Of course, writing your business continuity plan isn't a one-off exercise – it will still need to be updated regularly and tested at least semi-annually to make sure that it will serve you well in a genuine emergency.
You may find that a business continuity plan alone may not be sufficient and you need a dedicated disaster recovery plan template as a subset of your business continuity measures to document the processes needed to restore all-important IT infrastructure and operations.
If your business continuity planning needs are more sophisticated, or you'd prefer an objective set of expert eyes to identify and remedy any gaps or vulnerabilities, learn more about Business Continuity Consulting from Sungard AS.