Building a Business Continuity Plan
The global pandemic has taught us a number of things and more so than ever, it showed us that we need to be ready for rapid changes. In partnership with Gamma Telecom, here is some sound advice on keeping your business moving during tough times. According to the World Bank, Covid-19 has introduced the globe to the fastest and steepest economic downgrade consensus growth projection since 1990. In just a matter of months, record numbers of jobs were lost, and businesses closed. Micro, small, and medium enterprises were the hardest hit.
Business continuity planning is the process of creating a system that will help companies recover from a major disruption in the shortest amount of time. The plan provides essential policies and guidelines in times of uncertainty. It protects the personnel and assets of the company and ensures that operations can resume in some capacity as soon as possible.
Business continuity plans generally have the following objectives:
- Determine arrangements for the organisation to respond quickly to emergencies
- Ensure the safety of employees
- Protect records, equipment, facilities, and other assets
- Identify key parties to initiate a response
- Minimise business downtime
- Provide support to stakeholders
Having an operational business continuity plan gives businesses several benefits, including the following:
- Safety – You can ensure the safety and wellbeing of members of your organisation by anticipating potential threats. By conducting safety training courses and drills, allocating resources to safety measures, and laying out and communicating a comprehensive plan, you can minimise the risk of injury or loss of life
- Costs – By ensuring the safety of your staff and assets, you reduce the potential costs of any disruption. It also ensures that the organisation can recover quickly after minimal downtime, lowering costs. At the same time, depending on the industry, your company may beat competitors in being the first to offer products and services
- Confidence – Having a solid plan in the event of catastrophe improves employee morale. It lets the team know contingencies have been made and their safety and employment are secure. This can also affect consumer confidence in your products and services
Business continuity impact analysis
After a significant disruption, one of the first and most important steps to take is to evaluate the effects on the organisation, its personnel and assets. This is the objective of the impact analysis section.
Here, you will have a checklist of your company’s assets and functions. The items on the checklist can be as specific as needed, depending on the nature of your business.
The most critical pieces of information that should be included in this section are the following:
- Assets or functions affected – a list of the organisation’s assets and resources that the disruption has impacted
- Impacts – details the nature of the operational or financial effects of the disruption
- Operational status – describes how the assets and functions are in terms of operational readiness
The key pieces of information that should be found in this section are the following:
- Affected functions or processes with the highest impact to be prioritised for restoration
- Functions or processes that can resume operations at the soonest time possible
The following are some possible events that can cause significant business disruptions. It is essential to keep these in mind when building a business continuity plan because they will inform the kind of response needed:
These can be anything from inclement weather to powerful earthquakes. These are difficult to predict and prepare for. That said, having emergency protocols in place should be a top priority. Natural disasters can cause massive damage to business assets and disrupt supply chains.
Power outages can cause anything from minor annoyance to massive profit loss. Regardless of how likely these outages occur, it is best to have backups in place in terms of power source and internet connection.
A report published on the UK Government’s website states that 39% of businesses have had cybersecurity breaches in the 12 months leading up to March 2021. This figure is staggering but not entirely surprising. Business continuity plans should also account for the prevalence of these attacks.
In summary, every organisation around the globe needs to have a business continuity plan in place. Where possible, make it a priority and use it to alleviate risk and recover in the shortest possible interval. You never know when you might need it. For more information on keeping your business connected through reliable connections, please contact us on [email protected].
Active Digital is a global, award-winning telecoms provider and we can help businesses stay connected and operational through disruptions (big or small). We look forward to speaking to you.