How Business Continuity Planning Can Help Your Business
October 13, 2020
What is Business Continuity Planning
Business Continuity Planning is the process involved in creating 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. The BCP is generally conceived in advance and involves input from key stakeholders and personnel.
Business Continuity Planning 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
Why Business Continuity Planning matters
Business Continuity Planning is 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.
Every business faces many common challenges. There are also potential risk factors that could cause significant setback or even utter ruination, should they come to pass. It is enough to keep any business owner awake at night, worrying about the future.
Preparedness is the key to mitigating risks, avoiding disaster when possible, and having a plan in place to cope and recover when unavoidable setbacks occur. Whether you are addressing computer security or natural disasters, having a business continuity plan in place is necessary. Hiring external help for this could, in fact, make all the difference between being shut down for days, or to be up and running in hours.
Companies that help with Business Continuity Planning
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology company.
IBM produces and sells computer hardware, middleware and software, and provides hosting and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology. It is also a major research organization.
In the course of cloud transformation, many IT and business leaders have realized that their business continuity plans are not effective enough. Whether you’re looking to enhance the protection of your business operations and critical data, or you want to improve the way your business responds to threats, especially cyberattacks, there’s never been a better time to review and realign your IT resilience program.
IBM offers a full range of services, solutions and technologies for data protection and recovery, including backup as a service (BaaS), disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), cyber resilience service, and IT resilience orchestration (ITRO).
With over 8,000 members in more than 100 countries, BCI’s network of business continuity and resilience professionals help to keep the world’s organizations on track, no matter what happens.
They set the guidelines, train professionals, they gather research, and spread knowledge.
The BCI is a not for profit organisation registered in the United Kingdom and is owned by its members. A board of directors is elected by Voting Members each year and is complemented by a number of non-executive directors.
How to write 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.
How often should you review your Business Continuity Planning Strategy?
Even when companies do have a BCP, many fail to test it. This is critical to ensure that it works. Plan on some form of testing at least twice per year.
One way that you can do this is by doing a walk-through of the BCP. Chances are you don’t have a disaster recovery team, but ask key managers or staff to meet and go over the plan. Look for gaps; is there anything you missed?
Risks you failed to anticipate or account for? Make sure everyone understands his or her role and examines the plan in detail.
Some businesses take testing further by doing simulations. They set up an environment that mimics a high-risk situation (e.g. data breach or severe storm) and go through the steps of the BCP just as they would in ‘real life.’
Emergencies occur all the time, in some form or another. No one, and no business, is immune – but you can be prepared.
How using CONNECTS can strengthen your Business Continuity Plan
Using CONNECTS as part of your daily business activities is a great way to strengthen your Business Continuity Plan.
CONNECTS is a global online business networking platform that allows you to find new leads, businesses, clients, partners and suppliers from wherever you are.
We work with Chambers of Commerce to ensure that each member on our platform is reliable and trustworthy. Indeed, all our members have been vetted and approved by a local Chamber of Commerce. They all adhere to the high standards set by the Chambers.
You can access millions of companies around the world and will have a designated Chamber moderator to accompany you all along the way. You will also be able to create and respond to an unlimited amount of business opportunities.
What’s more, CONNECTS is completely private. We do not share your data, there are no third parties within the platform, and all emails are hidden.
Using CONNECTS will allow you to remain resilient in times of crisis and avoid the pitfalls of traditional business-making.
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