Any unplanned interruption of normal business processes, from a simple power outage to a major hurricane to a worldwide pandemic can cause businesses to encounter hurdles and setbacks that impact operations and revenue. It is imperative for all businesses to have a business continuity plan in place to help prevent and minimize the damage of continuity interruptions.
Organizations often underestimate the importance of a business continuity plan. No one ever notices its absence – until disaster strikes. By then, it’s too late.
Any unplanned interruption of normal business processes can create immense hurdles and costly setbacks. Operations suffer. Revenue may suffer even more.
Unplanned interruptions take many forms. It can be something as simple as a power outage. It could be a major hurricane. Ultimately, a disaster can be anything that disrupts normal business operations. Regardless of the cause, unplanned means unexpected.
With a business continuity plan in place, you position yourself to minimize the impact and damage of an unexpected event. In this article, we will discuss:
- What constitutes business continuity planning and the difference between it and disaster recovery
- The top 5 reasons your organization needs a business continuity plan
- The importance of business continuity planning beyond simply restoring operations
- How to get started building a business continuity plan
What is business continuity planning?
A business continuity plan gives an organization the ability to maintain essential processes before, during, and after a disaster.
Business continuity differs from disaster recovery in its holistic approach to the business. Business continuity reflects a business-wide implementation plan to ensure the continuation of critical business functions should a disruptive event occur. Disaster recovery “recovers” an organization’s hardware, applications, and data after a technology disruption.
5 Reasons your organization needs a business continuity plan
While it takes time and effort to build and test a business continuity plan, you’ll find it well worth it should a disaster strike.
Here are 5 of the main reasons you need a business continuity plan:
1. Employees Require Direction
A lot of businesses presume their employees will know how to react when faced with disaster. But no matter how skilled or experienced they are, it isn’t guaranteed everyone in the company will know their role. A continuity plan will help your business work together to combat potential issues and avoid any panic.
2. Insurance isn’t Enough
Insurance isn’t enough to cover all the damages of a disaster. Yes, it can cover costs of repairs, but in terms of loss of revenue and business prospects due to downtime, it has little effect. A lengthy downtime can have detrimental effects on businesses, which is why a plan is so important to ensure these disasters are both prevented and minimalized by reducing damages.
3. Customer Trust & Retention is Critical
If your business can respond rapidly to disasters then you will gain more trust from customers, knowing that they themselves won’t suffer the negative impacts of a disaster striking your business. If a customer uses a company that is often unavailable to provide the services it promised, they will look elsewhere. To ensure customer retention and bolster trust, businesses must develop a business continuity plan.
4. Business Must Go On
Many businesses believe they will have the means to deal with disasters with or without a business continuity plan. Disasters can close businesses down for good, so it is important in making sure your business remains open in face of a major event. Business continuity allows organizations to enable seamless workforce productivity during any kind of business disruption, planned or unplanned.
5. Employees & Customers Depend on Information Technology
In recent years, businesses have become increasingly dependent on information technology, using it to collaborate, communicate, store and process data, complete transactions, and much more. As dependence on technology grows, so does the impact of IT disasters such as hardware failures, power outage, and cyber-attacks. It’s important to have the right procedures in place to prevent these types of disasters.
Get this guide to understand:
- How much downtime really costs
- Why a comprehensive plan is so important
- What needs to be considered in a business continuity plan