Every business organization is always surrounded by the possibility of any minor and major business disruptions of all sorts, right from planned events including office relocations and IT maintenance, to looming emergencies like natural disasters to any unplanned events that always strike without any warning. This is why business continuity planning is one of the most significant aspects of business management.
While business continuity planning has conventionally emphasized on disaster and failover recovery from the datacenter, but this is only one part of the bigger picture. Today, when businesses have become highly elaborate and centralized with a number of IT based resources aiding the businesses, any failure in accessing the collaboration, communication, files, data and applications oriented tools, then business is considered down with the possibility of losing opportunities, reputation, productivity, customers and money.
Challenges posed by business continuity
Whether unplanned and planned, disruptions which are not managed effectively often come at a very high cost. Disrupted relationships with partners and supply chains may cause significant delay time-to-market while derailing important initiatives and weakening competitive advantage.
How to approach business continuity planning?
At a macro level, a business continuity plan must identify potential business disruptions which can affect an organization’s working. During an emergency situation, it is not possible to maintain the regular operations. For mitigating the impact of reduced capacity, the business continuity planning team must identify which operations hold the highest significance, which personnel would be responsible for performing those and how to redirect the work if the key personnel are unavailable.
Also, for keeping the number of adverse scenarios manageable, planning must be done on worst-case scenarios basis, instead of multiple graduated versions of every incident.
Testing of a business continuity plan
A business continuity plan would be as good and effective as you make it. Without an ongoing emphasis on preparedness, an organization may figure out at the time of emergency that the plan it developed is no longer relevant towards its operations or business. Thus, it’s important to test the business continuity plan from time to time, and it should be updated on periodic basis.