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How To Create An Effective Business Continuity Plan?

Managed services 05/30/2020 - 13:17 by Ruchika Tyagi

As per ISO 22300:2018, Business continuity planning (BCP) is a proactive process and procedure that prepares an organisation to overcome any crisis that can affect the business adversely.

When making a BCP plan, the first thing to ensure is that the BCP document itself should be easily accessible in case of any disruption.  It should be available both in hardcopy and digital formats, to all the stakeholders involved in response and recovery teams.

Structure to create BCP is as follows;

1. Defining the Purpose, Scope & Objectives:

The organization should consider the Risk Assessment (RA) and Business Impact Assessment when preparing the plan.

Risk Assessment

  1. Identifying the potential risks based on the organisation's business environment;
  2. Analysing and evaluating the risks;
  3. Giving them a score based on the probability of the risk & its impact;
  4. Taking the appropriate risk mitigation strategy such as avoiding the risk factors or reducing the impact by taking help from a third party.

Business Impact Assessment (BIA)

  1. Identifying types and criteria of impact based on the organisation's environment;
  2. Defining key business processes;
  3. Analysing the impact of disruption in terms of money, based on the types of disruption and additional criteria;
  4. Preparing a Business continuity team by appointing stakeholders, collecting their phone numbers and other necessary information.

Exclusions to the plan, if any should be explained clearly.

Making the Strategy:

Based on the RA & BIA, the BCP strategy can be planned out. The main objective is to meet the Business Impact Analysis timelines. The organisation should work towards reducing the risk and its impact. Reducing the time taken to recover is also essential. This can be achieved in several ways. Deploying backups & disaster recovery solutions is one possibility. Enabling remote working for the team (as in the current COVID 19 situation) is another. Engaging multiple suppliers to reduce the dependency on any one supplier is a third option. There could be many others.

2. Documentation & Proper communication to the stakeholders:

According to the ISO 22301:2019 standard on Business Continuity Planning – the plan should be documented and presented to the stakeholders.

Following aspects need to be considered:

  1. Immediate action plan following any disruption.
  2. Flexibility provided in the plan, (it should be possible to make changes at the last moment).
  3. Focus on the impact of that incident.
  4. Minimise the impact as much as possible.
  5. Additional information required to prepare required actions, coordination & communication.

Exclusions to the plan, if any should be explained clearly.

3. Documentation, Approving and Maintaining Records:

The Business continuity manager is the owner of the BCP, responsible for reviewing and testing it regularly. There are constant changes to the threat landscape, and without review and adequate training of all the stakeholders – the plan is of little use.

4. Testing the Plan & Making the Changes Accordingly:

Regular testing and training is a must for an effective BCP plan. The management should regularly review the outcomes of the testing and training as well.

What Size of Businesses Need a BCP?

Every organisation should have a business continuity plan, no matter what its size! A striking example is the worldwide emergency caused by covid19. All businesses, no matter their size, are forced to work from home. Looking at it from another perspective, as per the cybersecurity breaches survey, half of the businesses in the UK suffered from a cyberattack 2018-2019. No one can claim to be safe from this eventuality. Organizations should not take a chance, because if they are not prepared for a disaster with a BCP, they might even have to close the business.

Benefits of a Business Continuity Plan

The BCP helps in coping up with the crisis efficiently and & helps in quick recovery.  It gives confidence to the investors and shareholders that the business is prepared for any circumstance – which will provide them with an edge over their competitors.

An excellent example of this is, the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament, which has included infectious diseases under its insurance policy after the SARS outbreak in 2003. They had paid out roughly £25.5 million over 17 years, which is a significant expense. But this turned out to be an investment, as they are set to receive an amount of £114 million against their claim for this year’s cancelled tournament due to Covid19.

Without BCP, the Chances of Failure Increases

The old saying goes – Failing to plan is planning to fail. This applies equally to the BCP situation. According to FEMA, 40-60% of small businesses can go bust after a disaster. The current case of Covid19 or any other disruption – shows us that those organisations who don’t make a BCP are severely affected.

Prepare Your BCP with Teceze Assistance to Protect Your Business

Protecting your business from a Pandemic threat or a Natural Disaster. Teceze can help in risk Management, managing Work from home situations and also assist in changing the BCP strategy and communicating the same to the management.

All organizations need experts with hands-on experience in the area of BCP. Certified engineers in planning, implementing, and maintaining business continuity and disaster recovery plan are critical to the situation. The organization can decide to manage this internally or take the help of a third party like Teceze.

Teceze is ready to help you in creating and managing the business continuity and disaster recovery plan during these disruptive times. We can help you with 24×7 remote access resources. We can also assist in resource planning and availability which not only helps you in preparing for difficult times but also in protecting from the next wave – should it come.

The only way to protect what you’ve worked hard to build is to be vigilant when it comes to cybersecurity. If you’d like to know more about how your business can benefit from managed services, just give us a call, we are here to help.

Business continuity planning is the process of creating systems of prevention and recovery to deal with potential threats to a company.