What is Business Continuity Planning (BCP)
Business continuity planning involves the process of creating a prevention system and recovering from a company’s potential threats. By planning, it ensures the protection of your personnel and assets and can function right away in case of a disaster. The BCP defines all potential risks that will impact the operations of a company, which makes it important to managing risk.
The BCP is in a document that shows an outline of how the business continues operating in case of an unplanned disruption. Business continuity planning is more elaborate compared to a disaster recovery plan because it contains all business aspects that might get affected. There is normally a checklist that has the supplies, equipment, backup site locations, and data backups.
Why is BCP Important?
Whether you have a small or large business, you must remain competitive all the time. Keeping your current customers is imperative, but you must continue to attract new ones. The ultimate test for this is a disaster.
It is critical to be sure that the IT capabilities of your company will be restored, and there must be several available solutions. You can definitely depend on the IT team to take care of this, but other functions of the company rely on how fast you will get back on track. Otherwise, your value will plummet and your customers will have less confidence in you.
Your company can have losses, which are financial, legal, and the company’s reputation.
In order to make a structure of the BCP, six main points must be considered:
Be Clear on the Company’s Objectives and Goals
This is the primary step in a BCP because your company needs to have goals and objectives. Plan the details, departments that are covered, expected outcomes, and the exact budget.
A clear objective statement must cover the entire business. When it comes to the budget, each aspect of the plan must be considered to avoid overspending. You must consider all the research hours, materials, training time, and all other costs.
Choose a Team that Will Handle the BCP
Select teams that focus on tasks that can work closely together in case of an emergency. They should give you their contact details, backup members you should know about, and the shared responsibility must be written. Every member must have a clear outline of their responsibilities so everything is clear during implementation.
Perform a Business Impact Analysis
The business impact analysis evaluates how each potential threat impacts each business aspect. This is an important analysis because it gives a better idea of how every kind of disaster affects the business or industry.
It is helpful in identifying main business areas and functions so that most resources can be focused there when there is an emergency. Even if there is chaos, this helps the company stay focused and prioritize what’s important.
Plan to Continue Operations
This is vital because the strategy to keep your business running is covered here. There are three main strategies under this: The prevention strategy, response Strategy, and recovery strategy.
Testing and Training of the Curriculum
Most of the time, the BCP must undergo evaluation and practice. The periodic training must be given to BCP response teams and main business employees to conduct drills and model test procedures. This makes sure that employees receive proper training, and you can see loopholes that must be eradicated.
Program Maintenance Determination
A periodical update and maintenance of the BCP is crucial to covering changes made in the industry as well as upcoming threats. You will be able to do internal audits, but you also have the option to ask the help of outside sources for a different opinion and perspective.
Test Your BCP Plan
You must make sure that your BCP works before a disaster, and there is no other way than to put it through a test. Of course, it needs to be a real incident to test it, but it is possible to test your plan using a controlled environment.
You want to be sure that the BC plan is complete and it is the best plan in case there is a disaster. You also do not want to make it easy, which is why any testing must be challenging for your plan. Just make sure that your objectives are measurable. If you attempt to just escape it, your plan will be weak and unsuccessful in case of a disaster.
It is recommended that the BC plan must be tested a couple of times a year, especially if any changes like needing to have different key personnel or new equipment. Doing things such as walk-throughs is helpful to your practice, and it helps you become ready for any disaster.
The Application Can Vary
When it comes to financial services, applications considered as critical need a lot of available and repetitive architecture to meet a demanding service level of agreements. If the application is more critical, there is more need for continuous availability. For instance, in the case of a fixed income trading system, it is important for trading to resume in seconds after system interruptions. The quick resumption of trading is the mitigation of business and it preserves the reputation of a business. The downtime cost affects lost trades and financial services of the business’ reputation.
Using a Consulting Software to Make a BCP
A lot of companies do not find it easy to improve their resiliency strategies to deal with the hybrid IT environment of today. In the world today, global companies must gain an advantage or they will lose market share. This depends on the reliability of IT resources in the company.
There are organizations that use external business continuity planning software to help them point out and address their resiliency in a few aspects: The processes, IT infrastructure, and applications. The consultants can give flexible business continuity, as well as disaster recovery to answer the needs of the company. This includes planning and design, assessment, testing, implementation, and full management of business continuity.
Make Sure that the BCP is Supported All the Time
A casual attitude towards the BC plan will surely make it fail. Each BCP must be supported by the CEO all down to the staff. The senior management must give the most support for the BCP because they have teams to delegate the responsibilities to. in addition, there is more odds for the plan to stay fresh in everyone’s mind if the management prioritizes it.
It is also very important for senior management to promote BCP user awareness. If the staff is not yet informed about it, they must be because of their reaction when the disaster happens counts. Distribution and training of the plan are helpful here, which is why you must consider an HR-led initiative to get all employees on board. Hence, your staff understands the gravity of the plan to make sure they consider it credible in the business.
By having a decent and effective BCP, your business can survive disasters.
Here are the basics you need to know about Business Continuity Planning. For more business news, check out our other content.