“Expect the unexpected” is a phrase often uttered in business circles, but how does a company actually put this philosophy into practice? Many organizations are finding that business continuity planning is the answer.
Business continuity enables organizations to plan for disruption, mitigate it as best they can and get back on track as quickly as possible. It encompasses a mixture of digital tools and human skills that will prove essential when, and not if, disaster strikes. Even the slightest disruption to your core processes could cause financial or reputational damage to your business, which is why so many companies are investing in business continuity management.
What to include in your business continuity plan (BCP)
Your business continuity plan cannot simply be an off-the-shelf option – it needs to be specific to your organization – but there are a number of key areas that should be included. To ensure that it covers all aspects of your company, it is worth carrying out a business impact analysis (BIA) as your first step. This will tell you the cost of disruption to each of your business processes and, therefore, how long you can afford to be without them.
Once you’ve gained visibility over the impact of disruption, you can begin delegating business continuity roles to your staff members. For example, do you have a specialist IT employee that can preserve evidence in the event of a hack? Do your customer support staff know what to tell your customers when your sales channel goes down? Undergoing internal training sessions and creating a guide to follow could be one way of ensuring that everybody knows their precise role in the event of a disruption.
When your business suffers disruption, whether it’s due to a natural disaster or internet outage, time is of the essence. Have you identified which processes need to come back online first and do you have a timetable breaking down what actions you need to take and when?