Organizations often underestimate just how important a business continuity plan is. In fact, most of them never notice its absence until an unforeseen disaster strikes. But by then, it's often too late. Any unplanned interruption of normal business operations could result in costly setbacks. Revenue may suffer. And in a worst-case scenario, the business may collapse.
Unplanned interruptions often take different forms. It could be caused by a natural disaster such as a hurricane. Or it can be something as simple as a power outage. That said, with a business continuity plan in place, you'll be better positioned to reduce the impact and damage of an unforeseen event. In this post, we'll dig deeper into why every business should have a business continuity plan.
A business continuity plan establishes risk management procedures and processes aimed at preventing interruptions to core business processes and re-establishing full functions of the business as quickly and seamlessly as possible. It basically gives an organization the capacity to maintain essential operations following a disaster.
Business continuity is different from disaster recovery, particularly given its holistic approach to business. It mirrors an organization-wide implementation plan to ensure that core business functions continue to run should a disruptive event occur. On the other hand, disaster recovery plans are more data-focused and concentrate on storing data in a way that is easily accessible following a disaster.
A business continuity plan can be tailored to help organizations prepare for any number of unplanned disruptions, including:
A business continuity plan has three components; namely resilience, recovery, and contingency.
An organization can enhance its resilience by designing critical processes and infrastructures with different types of disaster possibilities in mind. This can include data redundancy, staffing rotations, and maintaining surplus capacity. Resilience against various disaster scenarios can help organizations maintain essential services without interruption.
Quick recovery to restore business processes after a disaster is vital. Setting recovery time targets for different applications, systems, and networks can help organizations prioritize which elements should be recovered first.
A contingency plan establishes procedures for various external scenarios and can include a chain of command that distributes responsibilities such as hardware replacement and damage assessment throughout the organization.
Whereas it may take time and effort to build an effective business continuity plan, you will find it worthwhile in case of a disaster. Here is an outline of the main reasons why you need a business continuity plan:
1. You'll Be Better Prepared to Handle Unforeseen Events
Businesses can't expect their employees to know the best ways to react in case of a crisis. Leaving each person to respond in their own way can be counterintuitive. At best, it could only add to the confusion. And at worst, it could lead to worsening of the situation and even loss of life. A business continuity plan will document the procedures and processes well in advance of a disaster. This way, employees will know what decisions to make in different scenarios.
2. Data Backups Aren't Enough
Most organizations deploy some sort of data backup. But backing up your data will do you no good if you can't access it. By deploying business continuity planning and disaster recovery solutions that leverage virtual servers and cloud technology, organizations can run core business functions from backups stored on virtual servers. As such, they will be able to keep downtime to a minimum.
What's more, with technologies like disk mirroring, organizations can maintain updated copies of data in different locations and not just in primary data centers. This way, data access will continue uninterrupted even if one location is disabled.
3. You'll Have a Competitive Edge
You will be at an advantage if you can restore normal business processes while your competitors are still trying to figure out how to resume operations after disaster strikes. Getting your network up and running, restoring access to your business data, and reconnecting employees such that they can not only communicate with each other but can also support customers will ensure that your organization stands out as being reliable.
4. You'll Have Other Safeguards Other Than Insurance
Today's modern businesses are faced with different types of threats. And whereas insurance can cover some costs caused by these threats, it has little effect in terms of covering peripheral damages of a disaster such as loss of business prospects due to downtime, loss of customers, and operational setbacks. Having a business continuity plan in place will help bolster the safety and security of your organization.
5. Your Business Will Meet Regulatory Requirements
A growing body of legislation mandates that businesses in essential areas implement effective business continuity arrangements. For instance, corporate governance regulations require that directors exercise reasonable care, skill, and diligence to mitigate the risks facing their organization. The current cyber threat landscape has made business leaders more aware of the risks that cyberattacks pose. One way they ensure that their businesses remain afloat in case of such attacks is by creating a business continuity plan.
Planning for a catastrophic event or a disruption to business shouldn't wait until a disaster strikes. On the contrary, businesses should have a plan in place for such eventualities. Having a pre-defined business continuity plan that clearly defines how your business should respond to various disruptions can help mitigate risks.
Orbis Solutions Inc. has helped several Las Vegas businesses prepare for unforeseen events. We take a personalized and proactive approach to all our work, simplifying the often complex and evolving technologies so that your business can achieve functionality and risk mitigation. Learn more about Orbis Solutions Inc.'s managed IT services today, so you can be prepared for tomorrow.