What is business continuity?
Business Continuity Management enables the business to minimize business interruptions, fully recover operations in case of emergencies, and continuously adapt to changing business requirements through effective risk mitigation strategies.
Your business continuity plan means that you can continue trading if your computer systems fail or there is some other incident that disrupts your business. It contains all the information needed for someone else to successfully run your business in your absence – whether during planned maintenance of while recovering from unplanned events such as fires or floods.
Business continuity planning is the business side of business continuity management – it’s about keeping your business running whatever happens. It’s also about business resilience – how to make sure your business operations are resilient enough to deal with any disaster that would affect them, whether caused by humans or nature.
So what does business continuity mean?
Once you understand business continuity it will help you plan for when things go wrong. If you’re starting a new business it will be something to think about from the start, but even if you have an existing business then having a good understanding of business continuity could save vital hours in an emergency when every minute counts.
Once you know what BCM means and how important it is for your organisation, business continuity planning is relatively straightforward to put in place – it’s about identifying the business functions, assets and people that are most critical for business survival; drawing up detailed plans with these at their core; testing them with business continuity exercises; and then maintaining them on an ongoing basis.
What can business continuity do for you?
If your business makes the news pages when things go wrong, then having a well-developed business continuity plan can help with restoring your reputation. It means you’ll be able to communicate updates quickly and reassure customers that their needs will still be met. It can also convince funders or investors that you’re in control of any risks facing your business so they’ll feel more confident its future.
But business continuity isn’t only about business reputation. It’s also about business resilience – your business’ ability to cope with problems when they arise so you can get back to business as usual after any crisis is over.
What are the benefits of business continuity planning?
– Minimise financial impact on your business by being able to continue trading during emergencies, or resume operations quickly in their aftermath.
Reduced costs/increased profits
– Maximise profits during business hours through effective risk management strategies that provide for early detection of incidents/risks and thus reduce overall costs.
– Maintain business continuity through effective business continuity planning and business continuity exercises, thereby providing a competitive advantage though customer service and meeting business expectations even in the face of problems.
Improved workplace environment/Reduced employee stress levels
– Manage business continuity risks through effective business continuity planning that provides an open communication channel between management and employees over issues related to business continuity, thus reducing fears of business failure and strengthening relationships within the organisation.