There is a lot of talk about business continuity planning, but there is a knowledge deficit about what exactly business continuity planning entails. Today, we will talk about the basics of the business continuity plan (BCP) and how today’s most successful businesses go about reading their contingency plans.
A BCP is a plan that will be enacted in any situation that causes the business’ operation to be interrupted. This could be as simple as a deleted file, but it could also be enacted in situations where the health of the business is in grave danger. Having a comprehensive BCP in place helps eliminate the confusion that could further hurt your business when the going gets rough.
In most cases, people would consider that a BCP is for major, business-killing events. As we mentioned before, however, it’s just not so. The BCP has to be thought out, implemented, and tested regularly to ensure that when operations are interrupted, whether by broken hardware or terrorist attack, that there is a plan in place to get the business back up and running profitably as soon as possible. As a result every situation that could threaten your business’ operational integrity needs to be planned for, even if the downtime you experience is measured in minutes rather than hours or days.
Here are some important elements your business continuity plan should include:
This may be a basic list of what every business should have in their BCP, businesses with more moving parts will definitely need to have more specific and overarching continuity plans. It is important that no matter how large or small your organization is, that you consistently revisit the plan to update it as necessary. Typically, if a business carries out a BCP audit twice every year, their plan will work the way it was intended to. Keeping on top of important changes to your business will make this process much simpler and less time-consuming.
Additionally, you will definitely want to test the new components (along with others that need it) as much as you can to get a good read on how your business would react if they were ever to enact their BCP in earnest. Ensuring your backup system is working as intended and making sure you have a complete inventory of your hardware and software needs are two critical aspects of a well-implemented plan.
Operational downtime can happen in any part of your business. It can happen as a result of faulty IT, interruptions in your supply chain, or situations where your human resources are unavailable. Call us today at (858) 509-1970 to help you put together a business continuity plan that will keep you in the game even when the chips are down.