You are not alone if that question furrowed your brow. You would be one of many businesses that either do not have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP), or do not have an updated, verified-for-accuracy business continuity plan. Even companies that have initially spent time on a BCP, do not periodically update it or verify its accuracy, leading to an outdated and ineffective plan.
Building an effective BCP is time consuming. However, the most basic BCP is definitely a better alternative to having none. Why do businesses allow themselves to have an ineffective or non-existent BCP plan? There are two reasons, both flawed. One is the It-Can’t-Happen-to-Me confusion. The other is the Someday-I’ll-Get-Around-To-It blunder.
Minimally, a BCP file should be created and stored off-site that would include a list of current company employees with critical contact information.
You should also include other vital business information helpful in case of disaster small or large. Things like a copy of the phone bill showing the company phone numbers, and a copy of the company’s insurance policy provide a helpful starting point. Information regarding your internet provider and computer technology specialist will also prove helpful.
Don’t forget to include an easy step-by-step plan of action that will help the business quickly restore its activities in order of importance and within required timelines.
For example, think about the first thing you would do if your main office becomes unusable for whatever reason. It would most likely be to forward you company’s phone lines and Internet access so that communication with your clients and vendors is immediately restored.
Wikipedia provides a helpful overview for getting started with an analysis phase which consists of impact analysis, threat analysis and impact scenarios.
A final element in our consideration is the process for restoring data through a reliable backup system. Most Information Technology (IT) providers will be able to assist you in developing a multi-layered Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR) system.
A good BDR system will speed the data restoration process from days to hours so that basic business functions can move forward. Rather than placing this business critical function on the shoulders of your in-house team, your IT provider is the most reliable source to get your networked data system restored as quickly as possible.
Business recovery that efficiently restores the continuity of all business processes coordinates your BCP efforts with your IT provider. Consulting with your IT provider will ensure that your BCP is viable from the technological viewpoint. Technology should help, not hinder, the achievement of your BCP goals.
To set up an IT consultation about developing and deploying your BCP, please give us a call and we’ll be happy to assist you.