22 July 2020
It cannot be disputed that planning, as well as executing a business continuity plan in the present times, has become the need of the hour. Companies can’t predict all the things that can go wrong. Even if you have sufficient time to prepare beforehand, you cannot be sure how a natural disaster or a cybersecurity breach will affect your business.
In this article, we share with you some tips for creating a seamless business continuity plan.
What Does a Business Continuity Plan Entail?
Simply put, a business continuity plan can be defined as a documented system that helps in recovering data from threats and averting damage in a crisis. Incorporating this plan into your business can help you protect your assets and ensure that all kinds of crucial operational activities do not stop once disaster strikes.
With the company’s staff and stakeholders’ help, you can create a business continuity plan that can help you prepare for any future threats. It is noteworthy that a successful and thorough business continuity plan must be integrated completely throughout your IT infrastructure and business to reduce possible damage and downtime. Irrespective of whether you run a small business or a major corporation, any business continuity plan’s main goals are to minimize loss, protect the brand image, sustain continuity, and retain customer value.
Things to Keep in Mind When Designing an Efficient Business Continuity Plan
All business continuity plans differ according to the industry, IT infrastructure, and company size. However, some common key components of all plans are the following:
- Recovery Mechanism
You must begin by identifying and implementing measures to recover all the important business operations.
- Business Impact Analysis
It is important to identify all the time-sensitive processes and identify how a certain organizational failure will affect your business.
- Training & Testing
Your team members must be trained as well as tested to make sure that they understand the business continuity plan thoroughly.
- Organizational Roles
It would be best if you created a dedicated response team to manage business disruptions.
Tips to Create the Perfect Business Continuity Plan
To make a standardized business continuity plan, you must keep the following checklist in mind and make sure it is enforced in your company:
- Build a Team
The first thing to do to build an efficient business continuity plan is to assign roles and responsibilities to all the employees in your company. This will help everyone understand their responsibilities when disaster strikes. Therefore, the business recovery plans will be carried forward smoothly till the execution stage.
- Identify Threats
You must then identify the potential risks, vulnerabilities, and threats that could potentially affect your business. This list will depend on your geographical location and set-up. For example, your business’s physical location might enhance the chances of a hurricane, flood, tsunami, earthquake, or fire.
- Carry Out Business Impact Analysis
You must also execute a business impact analysis that means that you must identify time-sensitive and important business processes and figure out how they rely on each other for the optimum running of your business.
In order to do this, you will need to establish when the loss of a process or a function would lead to the impacts and the impacts that would come from losing a specific business process or function. Once you complete this analysis, you will be able to prioritize all the important processes to ensure operational and financial continuity.
- Educate Your Staff
It is crucial to prepare your IT staff for digital transformations with the basics of cybersecurity so that they can handle business continuity optimally. For that, it is important to make all your employees aware of the plan as well as their roles in the protection of the business. You can form a training program to this effect so that the staff can develop all the skills that will be required to ensure an effective recovery strategy.
- Protect Sensitive Information
Finally, every business has some vital data that cannot be lost or misplaced for critical business functions. Losing it to the wrong hands can put your entire business at risk. Therefore, login credentials, financial records, data backups, as well as other critical data, must be isolated. You must store it somewhere safe so that you can access it quickly during recovery.
Keeping these tips in mind can help you create a seamless business continuity plan.