People who are familiar with ISO22301, which is the international standard of business management, know about the preferred continuity strategy. This strategy pertains to recovering the processes that have been interrupted, rather than delivering the output of the strategies in different ways. There are always risks of disruption when running a business and this can stretch to all aspects of an organization.
Business Continuity in the Context of Pandemic
Business continuity or the ability to continue business operations despite facing crises, disruptions and disasters is integral for your company. However, deploying business continuity planning requires you to plan thoroughly and precisely. Normally, these disruptions can be natural hazards, system failures, or malicious attacks. However, pandemics also impact your business and act as disruptions in the same way.
This is why your company needs to be prepared and equipped with a framework which allows it to return to business after facing a disaster. That being said, it may also involve making sure that the business continues to be operational during and after a pandemic. You need to have a prioritized list for resuming operations and also implement communication strategies to the employees.
If you do not have a plan or strategy to resume business in the unwanted occurrence of a disaster, than the odds are that you are not doing everything possible to implement business continuity. You will need to gather information about potential threats, and assess the risks that are specific to your business’s systems. After you conduct a risk assessment it is best to run an impact analysis which will help you discover the consequences of business disruptions.
Writing a Business Continuity Plan
When building a business continuity plan, you can come across many models and tools that are very useful in helping you build it. There are also many models and tools that are useful in helping you formulate a good business continuity plan. Many people working in the business continuity space have to deal with writing a good business continuity plan. However, very few people in the IT sector know what a good business continuity plan looks like.
What Should a Good Business Continuity Plan Look Like?
As with all other strategies, business continuity depends on your business. When you begin to create a business continuity plan, getting started is often the biggest challenge. Overall, one of most important aspects of implementing business continuity involves setting up the management business continuity statement. What follows after the statement are steps that form the foundation of a good business continuity plan.
You need to first set up the business continuity policy, and this needs to happen at a senior level. This is also the most important part of the business continuity planning. It is also very important that you set out your management business continuity statement. This statement will determine what your business wants to achieve, and the rest of the parts that follow will become compromised.
Another step of formulating a business continuity plan involves selecting the teams and determining responsibilities. This is another issue that you will often observe, and an under-resourced continuity plan will often fail. Getting that team in place allows you to move forward to risk analysis and mapping services and tools.
All of the above mentioned steps are part of planning the business continuity strategy. This is simply half of the steps that go into business continuity. The second sets of steps have to do with implementation. Finally, you can go into testing and exercising, along with going about your business.
Role of Risk Assessment
There are many different types of threats, and organizations can be secondary recipients of attacks that were placed elsewhere. Therefore, you need to think about all types of threats when articulating business continuity plan. You also have to consider that no threat is a 100% likely to occur and some may only be 99% recurring.
From a business disruption point of view, threats may not indefinitely happen, however they still may do. Many things are vulnerable to threats and in order to have a risk assessment, you need to consider all vulnerabilities. Businesses and organizations need to operate the resources, systems and people in the face of disruptions. It is mostly the activities and processes that get disrupted.
Business Impact Analysis
Business impact analysis or BIA steers focus towards critical business functions. Understanding and measuring business impact allows an organization to prioritize all continuity challenges. It enables IT sector to collectively work with the management and the recovery team to ensure continuity.
A good business impact analysis must address different types of impact. Each type of impact differs according to the type of event. Business impact focuses on costs of business, along with human welfare. Some of these examples include the loss of business functions, lost revenue, settlements of litigation, loss of investor confidence and more.
The BIA process or business impact analysis process consists of two steps. The first step involves the business continuity team works with management to identify CBFs. Secondly, the team continues to work with management to determine measures of impact and achievable recovery milestones.
You will also require a critical business function for the continuation of business operation. This includes both customer facing functions and internal functions like payroll. In some industries, functions are necessary for regulatory compliance. Overall, the business continuity measures of impact are closely tied to the amount of acceptable interruption allowed to business critical functions.
Work on Your Business Continuity Today
Working in the malicious virus infected environment of today, business must realize the importance of backup and recovery solutions. The cost of business downtime due to disruptions is a heavy burden that small to mid-sized businesses cannot afford. For this reason, disaster recovery and business continuity planning should be one of the priorities. VAST partners with many different companies to provide you a solution that is specific to your unique requirements.