Businesses can be impacted by numerous types of disasters at any point in time, from man-made cyber-attacks and severe data loss to news-worthy natural disasters. These unforeseen circumstances may result in damaged infrastructure, less profit, and job loss.
Regardless of your business’s size, you can’t afford to succumb to the pressures imposed by disasters. Without a quick and efficient recovery, you may be risking your business’s reputation and your employees’ mental and physical wellbeing.
What is a business continuity plan?
A business continuity plan (BCP) is a formal document outlining how your business can continue to run in the face of adversity. The purpose of the plan is to identify, assess and mitigate any risks that may cause your business operations to suffer.
Think of the BCP as an instruction manual that highlights necessary strategies that can help you and your colleagues withstand (and overcome) the damage a disaster inflicts upon your business.
A BCP is thorough and encapsulates every area of a business. This may include:
Unlike the BCP which offers a holistic perspective, a disaster recovery strategy aims to safeguard your organisation’s IT infrastructure. The DRP maps out the solutions for restoring your business’s hardware, software and sensitive data.
This can ensure that your company’s systems remain operational during a disaster and its proceeding stages.
Why is a BCP important for businesses?
A BCP can increase your business’s chances of surviving a disaster. Knowing what steps you should take in a catastrophic event can help your business achieve a shorter recovery time objective (RTO). The more time your company spends recovering, the less reputable you appear to potential customers and clients.
This can be detrimental for increasing revenue and solidifying your position in a newly impacted market.
The following are some of the key incentives of a BCP:
Data protection is crucial for organisations. The amount of data that is acceptable for a business to lose – the recovery point objective (RPO) – should be minimal. A BCP and its corresponding DRP can reassure you that your business’s RTO and RPO will not be significantly impacted.
What is involved when creating a BCP?
The exact information contained in a BCP is unique to every business. Despite this, all BCPs are fundamentally the same. Time, dedication, and hard work are all key ingredients for producing the most effective BCP.
In order to create a high-quality plan, there are a variety of steps that organisations should follow.
Effective planning includes:
The assigned members of the DRT will be in charge of researching and testing your BCP. They will pinpoint potential threats that can impact your business and determine critical procedures for maintaining your company’s lifespan.
The DRT members should be drawn from various departments to guarantee that the organisation is wholly represented. They should also enlist any services and acquire resources from outside the company that may offer valuable assistance during a catastrophe.
A BCP cannot be anything less than foolproof.
The DRT should examine universal and industry-specific disasters to determine the consequences of their impact upon your business.
This foundational information is essential to your company’s entire BCP and must be fault-free. The DRT can use this time to collate their findings and produce the first iteration of the BCP.
Company-wide exercises give businesses and their employees the opportunity to experience disasters within a safe environment. Problems can be identified and tackled at this stage if the BCP causes any confusion or is littered with issues.
There can be no room for error on a BCP, and tests may be performed as often as necessary until all irregularities are eliminated.
Management (along with external stakeholders if necessary) conducting a formal assessment of the finalised plan, and an official announcement once it’s been approved
The DRT should inform everyone of the BCP’s publication, and where it can be accessed for their perusal.
It may be a good idea to set up an annual, quarterly, or even monthly quiz to test people’s knowledge of the BCP. Participation should be mandatory. It’s important that workers understand every word of the BCP, so they will be able to spring into action once the situation demands it.
Need help implementing a BCP?
No business should postpone creating their disaster recovery and business continuity strategies for another day. No one can see the future, which makes it even more important for businesses to be prepared.
The disaster recovery experts at Muscatech have the experience to guide you through the creation of your own BCP. Talk to them today to fortify your business now and for the future.