Be prepared for the unexpected with a Business Continuity Plan

Be prepared for the unexpected with a Business Continuity Plan

In today’s world, organizations are exposed to numerous disruptive events. Each year hundreds of businesses fail as the result of an unexpected crisis. Hence, managing risk and planning for a catastrophic event should be an important strategic decision for all organizations to take no matter their size. Definitely, IT infrastructure is the core element for any organization to operate and in the case of an unforeseen IT system failure, the organization's efficiency will be directly affected, therefore, it is essential to be prepared for the unexpected. Having a rapid recovery after a disaster is very important, and in order to forestall, you should develop a business continuity plan so that your business will survive when an unforeseen disruption occurs. Subsequently, having a plan that demonstrates how to respond to an event is a valuable asset for any organization and it minimizes the impact of a disaster.

 

What is Business Continuity?

Business Continuity is strategic planning done by the organization in order to prevent, detect, prepare and respond effectively and swiftly. It involves more detailed planning that emphasis on the long-term organizational success and continuous viability within the industry space. A Business Continuity plan states the steps that need to be taken before, during and after the event. ISO 22301 is designed to assist businesses in the implementation of a business continuity management system that meets their requirements and needs to remain resilient. When implementing the standard, it requires involving the whole organization in order to have improved communication, segregation of duties and satisfied employees. Significantly, with business continuity, you will minimize major losses, maximize the recovery time of critical functions and in addition, your data backups will be secured.

 

Disruptive events that could affect your organization are:

  • Natural disasters
  • Theft
  • Fire
  • IT system failure
  • Terrorist attack
  • Loss of power
  • Cyber attacks
  • Hurricane
  • Riots
  • Data Loss
  • Loss of life
  • Breach of regulatory requirements
  • E.T.C

 

Why is it important to plan for a potential disruption? 

To prepare for and protect your organization from the impact of possible crises, it is essential to have a detailed plan in place that allows you to recover quickly from disruptions and continue business operations without facing massive impacts such as financial loss and reputational damage. Indisputably, this planning is important for all businesses. It is even important for small businesses since they usually have limited recourses to survive in a crisis. While you try to recover your business, you may risk losing your customers, and you may never get back on your feet again.

 

When planning you should:

  • Identify possible disruptions that can impact your organization’s services, processes, and activities
  • Determine on how you expect to reduce the risks of these disruptive events to an acceptable level in view of your organization’s risk appetite
  • Test the plan regularly to ensure continuous relevance and effectiveness in a case of a real disaster
  • Define and explain in the business continuity plan how you will respond if a disaster occurs

 

What are the benefits of ISO 22301?

Business Continuity Planning assures an organization that they hold the necessary resources accessible and critical know-how in order to proactively continue to assure the stability of the organization when the disaster occurs. Given that, having a Business Continuity Plan means that your organization is prepared for the unexpected and also:

  • Ensures flexibility during disasters - Your organization will recover from the disruption effectively within a short period of time.
     
  • Marketing edge - With a business continuity plan you will assure your costumers/stakeholders that no matter the destructive nature of the event, your organization is well-positioned to continue to deliver goods and services to customers’ desired expectations.
     
  • Increased employee morale and confidence - Having a plan in place for the staff when things are not going well is an important aspect which gives them the confidence to rely on it. As a result, they will give their best to accomplish the expectations of the top management.
     
  • Improved value/trust for stakeholders and customers – Organizations that are faced with different disruptions and deal with them effectively, demonstrates that they are a more valuable and trustful investment than the others.
     
  • Identifying risk - Through risk assessments, all the threats and vulnerabilities will be identified and it will minimize the impact in the event of risk occurrence within the organization.
     
  • Cost savings - Having an effective Business Continuity Program, the expenditures of any potential disruption will be considerably reduced.
     
  • Improved Communication - Communication is one important aspect of the business continuity plan; the ability to provide the work to the right person and to inform them at the right time.
     
  • Reduce insurance premiums - A disruptive event not only affects your organization but it affects your insurance providers as well. Business Continuity Planning proves your commitment to deal with risks and your insurer will take this into consideration when calculating your insurance premium.
     
  • Safe data - Regardless of the damage that happens within your workplace, or what kind of hardware is stolen, with cloud backups of your data, you are directly minimizing the threats of losing your records.

 

Organizations that are keen to know how to continue to operate efficiently within a short period of time after disaster strikes can refer to PECB training. We are dedicated to Business Continuity Planning and continually adding value to this portfolio by developing training and offering certification services.

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