What is Business Continuity Planning?
A business continuity plan (BCP) is a system of prevention and recovery from potential threats to a business. The plan documents actions, strategies, processes, and other important information that your business can use to ensure that its operations are restored and continued even after threats and disasters occur. The plan should provide all essential information of various business functions, as well as clearly define and establish sustainable business processes and systems in case of a disruption.
Is There a Difference Between a BCP and a Disaster Recovery Plan?
A Disaster Recovery Plan should be a component of the BCP in that it focuses on restoring Information Technology (IT) processes and operations involved in the whole infrastructure after unplanned events happen. The BCP focuses on the entire functions and processes of a business.
Who Should Develop a BCP for my business?
Collaborating with your executive team and IT experts who understand what is needed in a BCP is ideal. By combining knowledge from various experts (both individuals that are intimate with your business as well as skilled IT experts), you will be able to exhaust all the ideas to create a successful plan. It is important to note that the BCP requires continuous updates to accommodate new insights that arise over time.
Why Does Your Business Need a BCP?
To keep a competitive edge, your business must have a proper BCP in place. Below are some of the benefits of business continuity planning.
- Leveraged Competitive Advantage: Many businesses don’t know where to start or don’t think that creating a BCP is worthwhile. However, your business can leverage the fact that you have a BCP in place to gain prospective clients. Because you have a BCP in place, you should be able to resume operations quickly, avoiding interruptions, and prospective clients and other business partners will see value in this.
- Mitigated Financial Risk: With an effective BCP in place, you won’t have to worry much about a disruption because of a data breach or downtime because your backup procedures and processes are in place.
- Preserved Reputation and Brand Value: The ability to address issues that arise properly, in terms of communication or guidance, to the next steps will earn you more points in the business industry.
- Gained Confidence Among Employees and Clients: Having a detailed, documented plan in place demonstrates that you’re organized, prepared, and care about your employees and clients.
Items to Include in Your Plan
There are crucial components to a successful BCP. Here are some items that must be included:
- The Purpose and Scope of the Plan: This should describe the importance of the business continuity plan and that it applies to all operational areas of the business. Details related to possible business disruptions should be noted here.
- The Objectives of the BCP: Clearly define the goals and objectives the plan intends to address. Here, outline all the objectives that the business continuity plan intends to reach as a matter of business development and growth.
- Crucial Contact Information: Important contacts, contact information, and assigned roles must be included here to foster proper accountability and communication management.
- Mitigation Plans for Potential Risks: Here, you can establish and provide plans to address predictable risks. The plan should help you reduce the impacts that may be caused by risks associated with disruptions. Various strategies put in place to minimize financial, maintenance, and operational risks should be defined to give proper guidance on the same.
- Data and site Backup Information: Having a proper backup strategy is essential to every business. The strategy begins with establishing the data to back up and implementation of backup procedures and schedules for backups.
- Other items include Planning on the Maintenance Protocols, Assembly Points (when an emergency occurs), and Local Emergency Personnel Coordination.
Getting Help with Your BCP
Your plan must include thorough and detailed information on potential threats and disasters, steps and procedural guidance, measures of protection in place to reduce the impact of risk, and contact assignments and communication information for the individuals involved for each process.
This takes time and it could be overwhelming for your business. Let Sourcepass help you. With our experienced IT staff and expertise in Business Continuity Planning, we can help your business get a successful plan in place. If you are interested in hearing more about how Sourcepass can help, contact Anthony Latham, Director of Solutions Architecture at (877) 678-8080.