What is a Business Continuity Plan?
The definition of a Business Continuity Plan is often taken out of context. Many see it as an extensive, overly complex plan printed and bound , that can assuage the demands of auditors and regulatory bodies - but in reality is not very practical. In the event of an emergency, a Business Continuity Plan locked away in a safe makes as much sense as having an expensive luxury yacht locked away in a warehouse.
What should a Business Continuity Plan involve?
Business Continuity can be loosely described as a set of plans, steps and actions that ensures that your business continues as close-to-optimally with minimal interruption and in a controlled fashion. The SANS Business Continuity Plan definition is: “A Business Continuity Plan is a collection of procedures and information which is developed, compiled and maintained in readiness for use in the event of an emergency or disaster.” Let’s explore this a little further:
What does a Business continuity plan include?
Each of these plans normally has a Business Continuity Plan template with a series of recovery steps, contact numbers and other crucial information included in it. To illustrate: In the event of an evacuation, part of the list would include your staff register which will be called upon in one of the steps. It’s great to have a well-formulated template but there is no one-size-fits-all approach to Business Continuity Planning. Having a well thought-out structure and format does help make the plan more legible.
Business continuity planning in our modern age
Technology has advanced to such an extent that cloud applications, hardware virtualization, as-a-service offerings and a bevy of spin-off technologies are redefining the way we work, live and play. Your Business Continuity Plan should not reside in a musty and forgotten safe, out of reach and out of mind. Instead, use cloud storage for safeguarding and ease-of-access and, when needed, you’ll be able to quickly access it for reviewing, updating, sharing and amendments. This type of always-accessible storage also gives you the ability to collaborate with team members on documents that require the input of other key employees.
Failure to plan is planning to fail
Your Business Continuity Plan definition should be “that wonderfully constructed, dynamic and mobile plan that has saved our bacon so many times.” Embrace cloud technology, use ISO 22301 to full advantage, building up your company's resilience, making policies and changes that not only improve productivity, but saves money. With many companies closing every day, you have have to take Business Continuity seriously. It’s not too late to take your business continuity and your company into the future and keep moving forward.