Creating an effective Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is vital to proper business functioning in case of unexpected events, such as technical problems (equipment failure), hack attacks, human error, terrorism, or natural disasters. An effective Business Continuity Plan accelerates the recovery rate, helping the business to go back to normal in the shortest amount of time. Meanwhile, it minimizes the financial losses and allows the company to start servicing the customers before losing its reputation.
Over time, the necessity to have a strong Business Continuity Plan has grown. The number of natural disasters and hacker attacks seems to become higher every year. New BCP plans take into account such things as wide-area disasters, which affect the whole region and result in staff loss. Foreseeing the variety of problems awaiting the business on the road to success seems impossible. However, the BCP is the key to staying afloat when everyone else seems to be sinking. Potential threats are numerous but they can be foreseen and prepared for.
Prepping for the maximum number of disasters, no matter how small or big they are, can help the business function properly without any downtime. The below steps can help you create an effective business continuity plan. We talked to numerous experts to come up with a straightforward business continuity plan checklist.
1. Potential Threat Identification
Each business has its own set of potential threats. It’s important to identify the ones which pertain to your particular company. You have to foresee all possible unfortunate situations in order to insure yourself against them.
So the time has come to use your imagination and come up with thinkable and unthinkable ways your business can go awry. You can take advantage of online resources and read about the experience of similar companies.
2. Backup Creation
You need to have a good backup before the disaster strikes. All the essential data must be stored in a remote location, which won’t be subject to the same disaster as your head office. These days, cloud is one of the safest places to keep your backup data.
You also have to plan for ways to keep your company functioning in case there is a simple problem, such as power outage. A backup generator must always be available. Consider thinking of an alternative way of communication in case the Internet goes down.
3. Response Protocol Setup
The initial response protocol must list the chain of command, which comes into effect when the disaster strikes. Each team member must have his or her role in the data saving and recovery process. Everyone should know what to do and whom to notify.
4. Impact Assessment
When a disaster strikes, the assigned team members must assess the damage and reduce the panic. Quick assessment can simplify the loss prevention, data, and equipment recovery. Assigning a special team, which is trained to deal with emergencies, can help keep the panic to a minimum.
5. Taking Control
The most important stage of the BCP is taking control of the situation and planning how to restore the services. You should draft a response plan, which should go into an affect as soon as the disaster strikes. The quicker you respond to the situation, the faster your company will be back in business.
6. Long-Term Planning
A disaster may take a second to strike but it will take you days, weeks, or months to deal with it. When foreseeing the damages, plan for the resources you may need to help the company recover. With this information at hand, the restoration and recovery will be accelerated.