Far from being just an annoyance that one has to comply with, business continuity is becoming common practice, as more and more business owners see the need for business continuity and the rewards thereof. Business continuity is constantly evolving, but is your business continuity strategy likewise keeping up with the times?
Business continuity then:
Having a business continuity plan consisting of one massive volume of plans that hasn't been updated for several years, locked away in a safe place, made up by some expensive team of consultants is old hat. Thinking that business continuity is just about protecting one’s data, or that disaster recovery is just about protecting one's IT infrastructure is also archaic. Business continuity is a holistic approach to protecting and making sure one's business carries on running without interruption. Outdated and impractical business continuity practices of the past are now being replaced with modern approaches and standards.
Business continuity now:
A few years ago, technologies such as social media, smartphones and cloud technology were just entering the scene. Information exchange has now become lightning-fast and ubiquitous. The world is becoming eco-conscious and less reliant on printed media. Find below some ways that business continuity is keeping up with the times.
Social media: Posting of disaster and informational alerts that go viral means that people can now be notified on mobile devices almost instantaneously.
Cloud technology: Business continuity is now made mobile on most devices and platforms, kept up to date seamlessly and protected using secure transfer and encryption technologies.
ISO 22301: The universal standard for business continuity, ISO 22301 embodies a continual lifecycle and makes use of active participation and continuous change with a heavy focus on leadership.
Smartphones and tablets now make it easier, more efficient and practical to manage disruptive events on the go at any time one chooses. Intelligent software embedded with metrics makes it easier to manage the entire business continuity process even with business impact analysis, risk assessment and live incident management leveraging old technology like text message and email with newer technologies like chat and voice messaging and real-time updates.
An approach that we have been working on is using kaizen in business continuity to make gradual and constant improvements and to foster participation and contribution with reward and recognition for effort. We put forward the concept that all people in the organization can make significant contributions to business continuity and service delivery. It makes sense to use this to great advantage.
What the future holds:
With technology increasing the way it is, outdated technologies will be replaced with ones that are more secure and reliable. Compliance will become law and more businesses will take business continuity seriously. Automated technologies like remote business continuity plan triggering and artificial intelligence will become widespread, reducing the reliance on human intervention. There will be a greater focus on data protection and policies as the rise of internet marketing means personal and business critical data is prone to theft.
A current and realistic approach to business continuity is needed in today's volatile world. Sticking to draconian practices and shying away from wanting to spend on business continuity is detrimental to a business’s wellbeing. Modern technologies and standards make business continuity simpler, more effective and practical.