Top tips for building a strong business continuity plan

Top tips for building a strong business continuity plan

Catastrophes may strike at any time without warning, and any firm that's caught unprepared may struggle to get back on its feet. To protect your firm from complete collapse, you need a business continuity plan (BCP).

What is a business continuity plan (BCP)?

A BCP details how a company can stay operational during an unplanned interruption caused by either a natural calamity (e.g., flash flood) or human-made disaster (e.g., ransomcloud attack). Stakeholders and key personnel create this plan in anticipation of such adverse events so that staff members, company data and systems, and physical assets are all protected.

Why does your organization need a BCP?

With a BCP, you can make your IT infrastructure and business processes resilient against conditions that would normally cause downtime. Downtime can negatively affect your business by:

  • Disrupting customer service – Customers can't get what they need from you, so they may lose trust in you or turn to your competitors.
  • Making you lose revenue – You can't earn money if you can't serve your clients due to downtime.
  • Driving down employee productivity – Staff can't do their jobs properly since they don’t have access to the tools they need.
  • Incurring penalties from regulatory bodies – Regulations that require constant availability may stipulate fines and penalties if that requirement isn't fulfilled.

The total cost of downtime varies widely across organization sizes and industries, but given the points above, it's easy to see how prolonged downtime can bring financial ruin to a business.

How can I create a strong BCP?

Follow these tips to create a sound BCP that ensures the continued success of your organization:

1. Build a team that will manage business continuity

The business continuity management team's objective is to formulate, roll out, and oversee your BCP. Every department should have a central management team and support staff that comprises administrative assistants and assistant managers.

2. Analyze the business impacts of natural and human-made disasters

By understanding the physical, operational, and financial risks your business faces from disasters, you can devise effective strategies for minimizing costs. You can also prioritize what needs to be done first in order to sustain operations and completely recover from adverse IT events.

3. Perform a gap analysis

A gap analysis allows you to create a framework for determining your organization's recovery requirements, given the resources it currently has.

4. Explore recovery options and find the best way to execute them

Many processes may look good on paper but prove to be cumbersome or ineffective upon execution. Therefore, you must continuously look into alternative options and always test your continuity strategies to ensure they'll work when you need them to. This means simulating emergency scenarios and conducting safety training sessions to help you assess the effectiveness of your BCP. Analyze the outcomes and keep an eye out for areas for improvement.

With so many things you need to do for your business, you and your IT team may no longer have the bandwidth to prepare a BCP. Fortunately, Fidelis can help assist your team with creating a BCP for your organization. Talk to our IT experts today to learn everything we can do for your organization.

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