Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) help companies reduce the impact of potential catastrophes, such as natural disasters, economic downturns, bad publicity, security breaches, and more. A BCP is not merely a ‘plan-B’, and successful leaders – and their companies – need to spend the time constructing a good Continuity plan to ensure that they remain operational no matter the crisis.
The benefit of an established BCP
An established Business Continuity Plan not only helps a company react in the event of a disaster but also allows them to foresee potential threats and respond accordingly. In both cases, the BCP acts to help mitigate significant losses, both in time, finance, and reputation. A Continuity plan is something that all companies should consider, as the path to success is not always smooth and will be punctuated with crises. In a digital age especially, companies are extremely vulnerable. A single cyber-attack could cripple a corporate website for days, floods, fire, and storms could bring down on-premises infrastructure, and bad press could see clients turning their back on a business. There are plenty of other things that could go wrong; fortunately, Business Continuity Plans help companies prepare for and react appropriately to these events. In fact, a comprehensive BCP forces company leaders to assess their vulnerabilities and help build a better, stronger business that is capable of weathering the challenges of a modern marketplace.
Developing a plan
Developing a good Business Continuity Plan will take time, but is a critical step for all companies who wish to pursue success. There are five things all leaders must do when creating their plan:
- Identify: Potential threats for businesses come in all shapes and sizes; power outs, natural disasters, targeted attacks – and anything that might put a halt to operations or put corporate information and infrastructure at risk. Being able to foresee, predict, and prevent these threats is a vital part of a good BCP. Business leaders should take the time to consider what assets are the most valuable – and what their weaknesses are. Cyber threats and weaknesses can be discovered with vulnerability and penetration testing, while backups and Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service can help protect data and infrastructure in the event of a natural event.
- Prepare backups: One of the critical features of any good BCP is backups. Companies must be backing up their essential data in an offsite location, as well as planning alternative power strategies, temporary locations for operations, supply replacements, and methods of communication to ensure that all critical assets are up and running with as little downtime as possible.
- Delegate response: A response plan helps companies identify a chain of command in the event of a crisis. This helps ensure that team members know how to act and whom to notify, reducing wasted time and ensuring that someone is in charge. An impact assessment is also vital, with leaders prioritising how they understand the extent of a situation so they can take appropriate action.
- Act accordingly: The most crucial part of any BCP is how it is enacted in the event of a disaster. A reasonable response strategy will allow companies to communicate effectively during a crisis and will ensure that the right strategies are in place to get the business up and running again. This includes any governance and compliance responsibilities associated with an event, as well as the monitoring and management of a response.
- Long-term planning: Most disasters only take a few moments to occur, but their impact could be felt for days, weeks, and even years after. A well structured BCP considers not just the effort it would take to restore operations to the company, but the long-term forecast associated with a disaster.
If your business does not have a Continuity Plan in place, you should be working to create one. At MOQdigital, our team can help you prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster. With comprehensive as-a-service solutions, we take a holistic approach to security and continuity – ensuring that our customers have a plan that suits their needs and protects their most valuable assets. Get in touch to speak to one of our consultants, and discuss how you can protect your company with a Business Continuity Plan.