What happens to your business if a disaster hits?
What if there is a fire or flood that interrupts your business operations?
What if someone steals your company laptops, or what if there is a power surge that destroys your computers, or some kind of human error or accident that damages your business’s electronics or wipes out your customer data ?
Business continuity is the planning and preparation of a company to make sure it overcomes serious incidents or disasters and resumes its normal operations within a reasonably short period. According to a recent survey from Databarracks, a cloud service provider, only 30 percent or less of small businesses have a business continuity plan. So, many small businesses are vulnerable to the worst-case risks of a natural disaster, fire, flood, robbery or data breach.
Three Key Element for Business Continuity :
- Resilience: critical business functions and the supporting infrastructure must be designed in such a way that they are materially unaffected by relevant disruptions, for example through the use of redundancy and spare capacity.
- Recovery: arrangements have to be made to recover or restore critical and less critical business functions that fail for some reason.
- Contingency: the organization establishes a generalized capability and readiness to cope effectively with whatever major incidents and disasters occur, including those that were not, and perhaps could not have been, foreseen. Contingency preparations constitute a last-resort response if resilience and recovery arrangements should prove inadequate in practice.
Why you need business continuity ?
If there is no business continuity plan implemented and the organization in question is facing a rather severe threat or disruption that may lead to bankruptcy, the implementation and outcome, if not too late, may strengthen the organization’s survival and its continuity of business activities
Difference between business continuity and disaster recovery
Disaster recovery (DR) refers to having the ability to restore the data and applications that run your business should your data center, servers, or other infrastructure get damaged or destroyed. One important DR consideration is how quickly data and applications can be recovered and restored. Business continuity (BC) planning refers to a strategy that lets a business operate with minimal or no downtime or service outage.
5 step to do business continuity plan for small business
- Analyse your business
Identify time-sensitive or critical business function and processes and the resources that support them
- Assess the risks
Examination of threats & vulnerabilities, probability & impacts – resulting in some manifestation of risk index
- Develop your strategy
Establishing your business continuity strategy starts with considering your organization’s objectives, legal and regulatory requirements, personnel, and products or services, along with your customers and clients.
- Create a plan
Plan for the worst case scenario, Show who needs to do what, Use checklists and include clear, direct instructions for the crucial first hour after an incident, Be kept up to date, Be readily available if there is a disaster
- Rehearse the plan
Not only do all staff need to be kept up to date with developments, but so do suppliers and customers. Rehearsals can also highlight over dependence on certain key members of staff. This is not only a risk during disaster recovery but it is also an area that many owner-managed businesses are particularly vulnerable day to day
Need for speed vs budget
You may be unsure of just how much you need to invest to achieve the level of resilience appropriate for your business. You don’t want to overspend, but you don’t want to under protect either. Begin your process by assessing the value of each critical data asset, and create a specific plan for each. Compare the approximate cost of each plan against the value of the asset to establish an acceptable ratio. From there, the rest of the process is one of logistics.
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