17 Mar What is a Business Continuity Plan and Why It’s Essential?
Having some type of business continuity plan in place is essential for all organizations regardless of revenue, size, or industry. The continuity plan will vary depending on your organization’s needs, but every business should have some type of solution in place. So, what is business continuity, and where do you start?
What is Business Continuity?
Business continuity is the planning and preparation to ensure that an organization will have the capability to operate its critical business functions during emergency events. Events can include natural disasters, a business crisis, pandemic, network connection loss, or any event that results in a disruption of your business operation. It is important to remember that you should plan and prepare not only for events that will stop functions completely but for those that also have the potential to impact services or functions adversely.
What Does a Business Continuity Plan Include?
A business continuity plan ensures an organization will have the capability to perform its critical business functions during emergency events. A plan should include:
- Guidelines for customer, vendor, and employee communication.
- Procedures to ensure services or products are still being delivered.
- Know the response time to restore business processes.
- Procedure for employee support during an emergency event.
- The required technology to restore business functions with disaster recovery and back up.
- Determine decision-makers during emergency events.
- Know what your business dependencies are.
- Regular testing of your plans and technology to ensure functionality in an actual event.
- Ensure staffing levels will be adequate for business needs.
- Documentation of the steps and actions to take during an event.
A good business continuity plan begins with a Business Continuity Management (BCM) team that is responsible for implementation, testing, and event management.
How to get started with a Business Continuity Plan?
Step 1: Assessment
The first step to a successful planning process is to make sure that you have a thorough understanding of what is and is not critical to your organization. A security risk assessment should be performed to evaluate where your business risk is and what controls should be put in place.
Step 2: Disaster Recovery:
The purpose of disaster recovery is to ensure that your critical business processes can be recovered in the event of an emergency. Your business continuity plan will document the actions, including temporary workarounds, that will be necessary to keep critical functions operational until IT applications, systems, facilities, or personnel are again available.
Step 3: Crisis Management
Crisis Management refers to a specific plan that details how your organization will manage a crisis event with communication to internal personnel and customers.
It might seem overwhelming or expensive to execute, but how much will you lose with the downtime of your business not functioning? Our team can help you get your business continuity plan implemented for your business. Remember, it’s essential to have a business continuity plan in place because it’s not if, but when an event will occur!