As a cornerstone in business planning, continuity has become vital for any functional business’s organization, efficiency, and overall infrastructure; in essence, it serves as a foundation for that business’s readiness in times of disaster and/or disruption. Without a concise and well-thought-out continuity plan, a business could be blindsided and left reeling from hefty financial damages.
That said, here are a few quick ways to establish and fine-tune your business’s continuity plans.
Know the potential threats
Business continuity plans usually focus on a list of broad categories when outlining potential disasters or disruptions, and this list ranges from widespread cataclysms to internal inconveniences. It is crucial that planners identify these categories to know the full spectrum of possibility; they include, but are not limited to:
- Business interruption and/or unintentional loss
- Cybersecurity risks
- Criminal activity
- Human error
- Natural and local disasters
- Critical infrastructure failures & network disruptions
Regardless of the category in question, remember that, while your business may be seemingly fortified against catastrophic threats (like certain natural disasters), it should not overlook lesser events that could still harm the business’s integrity (like targeted cyberattacks or sudden transit, power or telecommunications outages).
Focus on the potential effects
Disasters and disruptive events, at surface level, can appear binary in nature — a cause and an adverse effect. However, to build a better continuity plan, businesses must take two key facts into account:
- Disasters and disruptive events can sometimes yield multiple different adverse effects — sometimes in simultaneous fashion.
- Contrary to popular belief, to better prepare for such events, businesses should actually focus on the potential effects of these events instead of their potential causes.
Regarding the latter point, the reality is that some events, such as multiple-day natural disasters, simply cannot always be anticipated and trained for in scale — at least in terms of a singular impact or detriment. Therefore, it is key to map out a variety of potential effects from such an event — even those that might be relegated to a “worst case scenario” tier. Broadened foresight, in this sense, is more than worth the extra effort.
Assess and reevaluate where needed
A business should never be permanently content with the long-term state of its safety, security and emergency management protocol; as constant reassessment is vital to shore up weaknesses, plan for emerging new threats, and ensure that all related infrastructure is up-to-date and logistically sound. Your business should invest time into regular business impact analysis, risk assessment, and risk management — all working in tandem to emphasize foresight and forward thinking.
While your business’s potential threats may be broad, a proper continuity and crisis management plan will make your protocol equally broad while fostering peace of mind for employees and personnel alike.