It needs to constantly evolve to take account of new threats and risks, adapt to new systems as they’re brought on board, and safeguard the needs not just of your business, but your customers and suppliers too.
Business continuity planning is all about dealing with the unexpected.
Disruption to business can be costly, not only in terms of lost trade and the consequent financial implications but also in longer-term harm to your reputation.
Whilst none of us like to contemplate the worst happening, it’s important to plan for what you would do if your business was to suffer a major problem such as a fire, flood, storm damage or another similarly catastrophic event.
They often have ‘hot sites’ replicating all of their systems elsewhere so that they can be up and running again within a short time of the main site going down.
For smaller businesses this, of course, isn’t an option. Storing backups away from the systems they relate to – preferably on a different site – ensures that they’ll be available in the event of a problem.While in most companies this may not be a full-time role, it’s important that someone oversees the operation and has sufficient authority within the business to command resources and get things done.Finally, you need to look at the roles of staff at other levels of the business.IT problems can also cause severe disruption, as British Airways recently found.What if your business was hit by a power outage or large scale virus attack?Similarly, your disaster planning documentation needs to be available and in a form that is easily accessed, preferably with a checklist of steps to be taken, lists of people to contact, etc.Many people now use the cloud as a means of saving their data.Whilst this is good in the sense that you know it’s safely stored elsewhere, you need to give consideration to how you would access it in the event of a disaster.If your main office is unavailable you’re going to need another location with internet access to allow you to access your data.In an era that’s heavily reliant on digital technology, you ideally need an ‘always on’ infrastructure that is accessible whatever happens.You will also need to look at who is going to be responsible for managing a disaster and getting the business back on track.