Firstly, what is a Business Continuity Plan and why should you have one?
A Business Continuity plan, commonly known as a BCP, is a vital framework designed to ensure the smooth operation and resilience of a business during unforeseen disruptions or emergencies. It outlines the steps and strategies necessary to maintain essential functions, recover critical operations, and minimize downtime in the face of various threats or incidents.
In today’s technology-driven world, where businesses heavily rely on digital infrastructure, a robust BCP becomes even more crucial. Technological failures, cyber-attacks, natural disasters, or other unforeseen events can severely impact an organization’s operations, data security, customer trust, and financial stability. By having a comprehensive BCP in place, businesses can proactively identify potential risks, implement preventive measures, establish backup systems, and devise strategies to swiftly recover from disruptions.
Moreover, a well-crafted Business Continuity Plan helps organizations minimize revenue loss, maintain customer service levels, safeguard critical data, and protect their reputation. It enables businesses to respond effectively to technology-related incidents, ensuring uninterrupted operations and preserving the trust of customers, partners, and stakeholders. Ultimately, a robust BCP not only enhances a business’s ability to withstand and overcome challenges, but also contributes to its long-term success and sustainability in an increasingly interconnected and technology-dependent landscape.
Where to get started with your BCP
How common are these among businesses? You might be wondering how to create one. In this article, we’ll explain the steps required to develop an effective continuity plan for your business.
Firstly, make sure your business continuity team is fit for purpose. Once you’ve decided the time is right to put in place or completely revamp your business continuity strategy, you will need to determine whether yours meets best practice standards and ensure it keeps pace with your ever-expanding business. Regular reviews are essential steps in creating a fit-for-purpose continuity strategy.
Regular reviews aren’t the end of the strategy, the subsequent steps can be executed as an action plan for business continuity:
Working out your business continuity team structure
Decide which core teams need to be included in your taskforce. These typically include; IT, HR, Communications and Operations. A member of staff from each of these areas will decide who is responsible for having account-level business continuity plans and will be specific to your organization.
Allocating clear responsibilities
One of the first and most important steps in this process is to assign business continuity roles and responsibilities.
Clear accountability is always important in business and becomes even more so in a crisis. Your continuity plan should include clear team roles and responsibilities. You can’t afford anything slipping through the cracks, and there’s no time to accommodate duplication or uncertainty regarding business continuity.
Ensuring management can reach the team easily
Up-to-date contact information for all members of your business continuity team is vital. They should all be contactable instantly in a crisis.
Accurate corporate data underpins your ability to do this. Ensure you have 360-degree vision across all your business subsidiaries.
Preparing for absence
This does depend on the type of crisis you’re up against. Of course, you might see high levels of absences (evident during the coronavirus pandemic), so ensure you have plans in place which enable business continuity to work and carry on, even if people are away.
Putting systems in place to support your management team
Technology can be a huge help when preparing for or responding to an emergency. As above, knowing that contact information is all up to date saves time and creates a more robust response.
Cloud-based software also enables teams to collaborate remotely. It continues to function should your power or systems be compromised.
Knowing your governance and compliance obligations will be met following business interruption is crucial, especially if disruption affects your data security.
Success Strategies for Business Continuity Teams
Imaginably, this blog should have provided you with a framework to follow when forming a team to tackle business disruption. On reflection of this – recruiting the right people, providing them with the data they need and putting in place systems that will support them, are just some of the essential steps that will enable you to build the best team.
Looking to learn more about how the right technology can make a difference to success or failure for a business continuity management team? Don’t hesitate in reaching out to our expert team to discuss the specifics on how we can help.