A couple weeks ago, I wrote about Network Continuity. The blog post was about how network downtime is a business nightmare. But here’s the thing, Network Continuity is only the tip iceberg when it comes to preparing your business for anything and everything.
This week, I want to take the time to discuss Business Continuity, what it is and why it’s important to your business. Let’s dive in:
What is Business Continuity?
Business Continuity is an organization’s ability to ensure operations and core business functions are not severely impacted by a disaster or unplanned incident.
These incidents can include a natural disaster, business crisis, long-term power outage, key employee on maternity/paternity leave, retirement of a key employee, or any event that results in a disruption of a business’s operations.
In basic terms: when a failure or disaster happens, there is little to no downtime because there’s a plan in place. The business continues to function.
So, what’s in a Business Continuity Plan?
Business Continuity is not data centric like Network Continuity. It is business centric.
A good Business Continuity plan should recognize potential threats.
The plan should also predict how these threats will impact day-to-day operations. It should then identify appropriate recovery strategies for each potential disruption.
The goal is to identify and document the priorities, procedures, responsibilities, and resources.
The following elements are essential parts to include in your plan:
- A clearly defined team
- A detailed plan
- Crisis communications – a toolkit of all communications channels
- Employee safety
The last step is the implementation of the plan throughout the business. It’s important to have employees test and review the plan with regularity.
One more note, an out-of-date or ineffective plan can be worse than none at all. It’s important to review and update your plan at least once a year.