If the recent magnitude 7.1 California earthquake has not already affected you, now might be a good time to revisit your Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans. An earthquake like disaster that severely disrupts your operations can be catastrophic for the organization. Given how vulnerable organizations are to any natural calamity, if you’ve not considered the possibility of a disaster impacting your organization or if your disaster recovery plans are outdated – now is the time to act! It is crucial to have a robust business continuity or a business resumption plan in place; a set of strategies, plans and actions which provide protection or alternatives of operation for activities and business processes which, if disrupted, could bring seriously damaging, and potentially fatal loss to the organization.
Components of a Business Continuity Plan
A disaster can strike any time, and without warning that too! If you think your people know what to do in an emergency, or if you think your insurance will cover for your losses – think again! Given the frequency and severity of nature-related events, your organization today faces an unprecedented number of threats. Having a robust business continuity plan in place can allow you to run your business as usual, while lowering the impact of any business disruption, reducing liability and protecting shareholder value.
While most plans consist of multiple components, the main premise is typically centered around protecting and maintaining operations of critical processes and facilities. The two essential components of a Business Continuity Plan are:
- An IT Disaster Recovery Plan that provides organizations with a structured, and well-documented approach to maintain and/or quickly resume mission-critical functions following a disaster.
- A Crisis Management Plan or an Incident Response Plan that needs to be established immediately after a disaster. Through Crisis Communication Processes, it ensures employee safety, and provides initial information and direction for organizing ongoing activities.
Any kind of data loss or interruption to normal business processes can have serious financial implications and can derail your business. Yet, many organizations do not have a proper plan in place. Developing a business continuity or business resumption plan takes focus, executive leadership and support. Here are the key steps in developing a Business Continuity Plan:
- Identify threats or risks – What are the most likely threats and risks? What are the critical operations and processes that must be maintained and protected for your organization? What is the level of risk related to these processes and operations? Depending on the nature of the organization or the specific processes, the risk may be very different.
- Conduct a Business Impact Assessment – What are the implications and the potential impacts if these risks and threats are realized? What is the potential financial impact to the organization?
- Adopt controls for prevention and mitigation – How can these risks be mitigated or prevented? What processes, infrastructure or other controls can be put in place?
- Test, exercise and improve plan – Is the plan regularly reviewed? Is continuous validation and testing carried out to maintain effectiveness?
The Synoptek edge
Most organizations today cannot operate effectively if their critical systems are not functioning, and that’s why you need to rope in a partner who can build a framework for developing a business continuity or business resumption plan for your organization. Partner’s like Synoptek have successfully devised business continuity plans for multiple organizations. it is imperative to bring in subject matter experts on Business Continuity Planning and manage the project and the engagement end-to-end – including IT Disaster Recovery Planning. With experience in carrying out Business Continuity Planning activities for large multi-billion businesses with global operations as well as for smaller mid-market firms, these partners facilitate the Business Continuity Planning exercise with the management team, and then conduct Disaster Recovery Assessment and Planning activities to ensure systems Disaster Recovery capabilities are supporting, and aligned with that plan.
Do you have a Business Continuity Plan in place? Act before it’s too late; get in touch with Synoptek today and allow us to devise one for you!