For a business owner imagining all the ways their business can be disrupted by both external and internal factors is a frightening thought. Everything from floods, fires and other natural disasters, to incidents like power outages and human error can have an impact on business operations. But there's no need for CEOs, risk officers and senior IT staff to lose sleep worrying about these potential disasters. Creating a business continuity application and plan can reduce the overall impact of any threat that may occur.
Here are six things you need to know about Business Continuity.
1. Put a plan in place
A great exercise is to put yourself in different kinds of situations that would put your business at risk. Imagine the worst case scenarios that could occur, then think through what the best solutions would be to maintain your organisation's most critical operations. Build a ranking system to prioritise the most important functions based on factors such as revenue loss, brand image, continued customer confidence and governance compliance. Once your business continuity team has come to an agreement on this analysis, and this can be painful, you can begin to craft recovery strategies. Ultimately, this enables IT to make informed decisions to make sure the most critical risk procedures are available instantly and improves recovery time and recovery point objectives.
2. Build a team
In the event of a disaster taking place within the business, employees should never have to look around in confusion and ask "Who do we go to?". Which is why the first thing you need to do is build a business continuity team with different members within the organisation. These are generally senior management from each department, from marketing to HR, finance to legal and so on. They will lead each departments response in the event of an emergency.
It's vital that the team stays involved in the planning and maintenance of such plans throughout the year, using the latest technology at their fingertips. ReadiNow provides an integrated software platform that enable all users to share data across departments, easily update plans and act quickly and efficiently in emergencies with a cohesive company-wide response.
3. Precise communications
Valuable and relevant information during a disaster is the difference between a smooth risk plan and panic for internal business units. It's important when developing a Business Continuity Management (BCM) Plan that you also create the tools necessary to include a range of communication streams. These include mobile messaging, email, internal intranets, instant messages and the company website. Always produce example messages in advance so the entire process can be streamlined. From a branding perspective, it's vital that there is also a consistent message sent to the public and customers through the usage of social media, PR and senior interviews if necessary.
4. Maintenance and testing
Vital mistakes can be made if BCM plans are not thoroughly maintained and tested. Sometimes having an outdated plan is worse than not having a plan.
Constantly review and update your BC plan at least twice a year. If possible, quarterly is even better, as it can reflect any changes and updates made by different departments, particularly the IT department. It's also important to regularly complete disaster simulations, which can include everything from fire drills to false hack alerts on company computers. These can help ensure your staff are aware of any new advancements in managing disaster scenarios.
5. Staff safety
Ultimately the safety of your staff is one of your most important considerations. Fire departments, police agencies, as well as community emergency teams, can provide emergency response training and unique customised guidance programs for your business. Procedures need to adapt to your departments, location and workforce and it's vital to test all employees every 4 to 6 months.
6. Cloud-based business resources
One of the major elements of business is to maintain employee productivity and around the clock customer service. So imagine for a moment a scenario where your office power is lost for a week. How would your company continue to operate?
In today's digital age, the solution is for your employees to work remotely from another location, be it at home, or even a hotel. That's where ReadiNow's cloud-based integrated software solution can help. It gives your employees the ability to work remotely in the cloud and still access your companies software systems, data and tools they need to get the job done. All protected by sophisticated data encryption and remote access safety protocols.
Talk to ReadiNow today about how our technology can help with your Business Continuity Plan. Call us on 1800 153 153 or request a demo at www.readinow.com
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Read how one of Australia's largest financial institutions optimised their BCM processes.