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Business Continuity is the process of planning to make sure that your company or organisation is able to return to business as usual as soon as possible after an emergency event or major disruption. Disasters or emergency events such as floods, fire, IT system failure, theft, hurricanes or major power outages can have a devastating effect on your organisation and can result in companies going out of business, or at the very least losing important customers. Ensuring you have a good business continuity plan in place is essential to minimising the impact to your organisation and enables you to continue trading as quickly as possible.
You will need to identify all key business functions in order of importance and assign them criticality. A business impact analysis should be thoroughly researched and all essential information gathered including recovery point and recovery time objectives. If you rely on computers heavily then an IT Business Continuity plan is essential and back up systems, copies of vital data and software should be available in the event of a system failure. The first hour after a disaster event or crisis’ situation is the most critical and you will need to make the most of it to minimize the impact, immediate action must be taken.
Your business continuity plan should include:
- Identifying potential emergency evens or crisis that could affect the running of your organization
- Decide how you can minimize risks
- Have a plan in place and decide how you will react in a crisis
- Ensure you test you business continuity plan on a regular basis
There are many different types of crises, emergency events or natural disasters that can impact on your business operations. While some of them may seem unlikely it is wise to consider all possibilities and have plans in place. It is far better to have a plan you never have to implement than be faced with a situation you have not made any allowances for.