Business Continuity refers to a process that ensures a smooth and quick restoration of operations following an incident. And Business continuity planning is an important component of risk management. It takes a wider approach to the problem. It is a process that identifies an organization’s exposures to external and internal threats and synthesizes both hard and soft assets to provide effective recovery and prevention for the organization while maintaining competitive advantage.
These steps are part of business continuity planning:
Initiation of a project
Analysis of business impact
Planning design and development
Continuity plans are designed to achieve specific business goals or limits. These objectives must be clearly stated in the plan and approved by senior management. Each objective should be clear, such as “restore web site” and specific. They also need to be measurable, such as “within one day.”
The plan can’t be properly evaluated if the business continuity goals aren’t clearly stated in it or the scope is not properly frozen.
Will Business Continuity Plan work
The busines continuity plan can allow for financial systems to be restored within half an hour. Can essential financial activities be resumed within the two-hour recovery window if the data center that supports these functions is damaged by an earthquake or other intentional human plan? If no, the plan objectives are too ambitious or the recovery program is insufficient. The plan won’t work in either case.
Relevance of the Continuity Program for Employees
The Business Continuity Plan must be relevant to employees. Answers to the following questions should be affirmative.
Are employees familiar with and aware of the business contiinuity plan?
Did they provide their inputs to the design of the plan
Are they aware of their roles in the event that a plan is invoked?
Do employees feel comfortable with the amount of training and preparation provided?
Are they unsure if the plan is feasible?
Business Impact Analysis
It can be said that a business continuity plan is the result of a business analysis
A BIA’s purpose is to identify these:
Critical business processes and functions are essential for an organization
The threat to critical functions
They could pose a risk to your health
Financial consequences of a disaster.
As continuity professionals, we can use this information to create strategies to reduce the impact of major disruptions and speed up recovery of functional tasks. The typical BIA has a short shelf-life and should be updated regularly, just like a business continuity plan. A new analysis of the company’s BIA should be performed if it is older than one year. This should be followed immediately by an update to the company’s continuity program.
Business Continuity Plan Maintenance & Change Management
A continuity plan, which must be updated with any major organizational, system or business changes, is essential in order to ensure that your business remains viable and up-to-date.
These changes could include:
Opening a new workshop
Introduction of servers
New laws and regulations are being passed
Any change that could have a significant impact on key business functions and processes should be triggered by an automatic review.
Frequency for Testing Business Continuity Plans
A business plan is essential to ensure that your business remains viable and current. It does not need to be extensive. Many times, large-scale tests, especially those that involve IT facilities, can easily be replaced with smaller, tabletop exercises. Tabletop drills based on scenarios are particularly useful for establishing an organization’s ability to adapt to rapidly changing disaster environments. When disaster strikes, it might be necessary to revise portions of the business continuity plans, literally on-the-fly.