While it may be impossible to predict emergencies, preparing a business continuity plan in the event of a loss can help reduce and mitigate the resulting damages.
Not many companies were prepared to deal with the pandemic induced lockdown, and most of them lacked critical direction and structure during the remote work transition period. According to a survey, only 24% of businesses said they had experienced no downtime and readily adapted to the new business norms.
What is Business Continuity?
Developed after a thorough financial and infrastructural risk analysis, a business continuity plan includes guidelines and standard operating procedures to help a company function in 'safe-mode' until a wider-strategy can be developed if a challenging situation arises.
The Importance of Business Continuity Management
Last year, various industries adopted technologies in the shape of remote working tools to help maintain functionality during the pandemic.
To adopt these tools, businesses, schools, law offices, and many other industries were forced to make some drastic changes. Having an efficient plan to rely on helped these organizations make this switch seamlessly.
Business Continuity Best Practices
Tech solutions such as cloud continuity have streamlined the business continuity process.
Some best practices to consider when creating a plan include:
1. Identifying essential services
Essential services or functions need to be identified as part of the business continuity plan to determine who to retain if there is a need for significant staff reduction. These include services and functions that:
- Have an impact on the well-being of individuals if not delivered
- May result in a business unit's failure if activities are not performed in a specific period
2. Recognizing staff members and skill sets
It’s integral to recognize the value of each staff member, and the skill sets required to perform the crucial tasks demanded by your business continuity planning process.
This information is used to reallocate staff across the organization to optimize efficiency.
3. Implementing regulatory requirements and service agreements
Some organizations have service level agreements and regulatory requirements with third parties that they must fulfill.
In such cases, it is essential to understand requirements from a regulatory and legal standpoint, and if there are any restrictions, they must be included in the action plan.
4. Preparing an action plan
An action plan functions as a checklist to ensure that all problems are addressed, like the decision making process on executing service reduction.
It explains who makes decisions, the solutions to be applied, how each necessary function is carried out, and what communication strategies need to be followed.
It should also include details related to the essential services, primary emergency staff, and activation procedures.
5. Documenting decisions
Once a risk analysis is run, and an action plan is in place, it’s crucial to document the decisions made and the people making them.
Keep an account of all decisions made as a log for future references and a roadmap for implementation.
6. Reviewing, testing, and updating
After completing the business continuity planning process, you should review the plan and test it out.
The testing can be done through an emergency exercise to prepare your staff for implementation, and can be rolled out to employees to begin their training process.
Computer Resources of America
As one of New York’s leading managed IT service providers, we offer support NYC businesses can rely on to keep their operations running strong.
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