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A business continuity plan comes to the rescue for an organization to provide acceptable service, maintain its reputation, and maintain revenue flow following a crisis, disaster, or emergency.
In this article, we explain the importance of business continuity planning to ensure an organization’s survival amidst the unexpected.
Table of Contents
A business continuity plan is a strategic process designed with pre-determined protocols to help an organization recover and overcome business disruptions.
In addition to protecting property, people, and assets, it helps an organization recover from property damage, unexpected interruptions, financial impact, and loss of life.
A successful business continuity plan must include:
- Identification of the critical functions, categorized into priorities.
- Key employees’ succession plans.
- Tried and tested backup strategies.
- Contact information and role definition of the employees who are part of the plan.
When designing either a backup or disaster recovery solution, you need to assess first the workloads to understand what is important to your organization, and to prioritize the importance of the workloads by performing a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) which is the first step in the business continuity planning process.
Why Have a Business Continuity Plan?
The best place to start for an organization that doesn’t yet have a continuity plan is by carrying out a Business Impact Analysis (BIA). This assessment helps understand the processes, personnel, and assets critical to running the business. It also helps consider the impact and likelihood of possible business crises.
Organizations can cope with any crisis quickly, minimize disruptions to the business and customers, and remain robust in operations. A company has a good chance of overcoming business disasters with a comprehensive plan. Rigorous business continuity plan testing ensures it can fulfill its purpose effectively.
The failure to maintain a continuity plan could lead to the risk of losing out on customers or even the inability to recover the business, ultimately leading to cease of trade.
Why Business Continuity Planning is Important?
An effective business continuity plan makes it easier to cope with crises. It also helps minimize disruption to the organization’s functioning and proves its robustness to customers, investors, and insurers.
Disaster recovery plans help restore business operations for business continuity when unexpected disasters occur.
Disruptions, threats, and disasters result in revenue losses and increased costs, in turn affecting profitability. Including disaster recovery in a business continuity plan helps a company survive successfully during times of crisis.
The employees can be trained to follow the disaster recovery plan for a safe, timely, and organized recovery. It’s also essential to retain customers, keep operations running, and continue to earn revenue for the organization.
Builds Employees’ Confidence
Maintaining a well-managed system assures the organization’s employees that all are accounted for and their needs are considered.Communicating about the business continuity plan and training the employees on the same keeps them aware of their responsibilities in a crisis. It boosts their confidence and makes them capable of independently handling minor disruptions.
Measuring the associated risks enables them to maneuver business operations based on the situation.
Business continuity helps in effective risk management. As a result, companies will be able to mitigate risks, including financial ones, better with different risk management strategies and damage control initiatives.
The concerned risk management teams can avoid debts and revenue loss effectively, thereby maintaining the economic value of the organization. Furthermore, with a proper business continuity plan, utilization of the reserves, hedging, and insurance results in effective mitigation of financial risks.
Compliance with Industry Standards
It’s easier for the company’s leadership team to distinctly follow business continuity standards with a well-devised business continuity plan.
It ensures the organization’s compliance with industry standards and regulatory terms. The compliance confirms the proper execution of the company’s business continuity plan while also demonstrating the organization’s awareness of responsibilities and risk management strategies.
Protects Organization’s Reputation
When organizations take the time to plan out their response strategies in emergencies, they’ll be able to bounce back and resume operations sooner.
A business needs to maintain a good brand reputation in the market. This helps retain customer loyalty and trust while also making customer acquisition easier. In the event of a crisis, a business continuity plan enables smooth operation while also fulfilling customers’ expectations.
In the long run, the organization’s brand value and reputation in the market are preserved.
Having dedicated customers remaining loyal to a brand involves maintaining quality products and services, irrespective of even critical situations.
With a business continuity plan, companies can maintain their quality during a crisis with technology and alternative infrastructure while replacing affected resources. In addition, the brand’s reputation is maintained when there is a consistently satisfactory quality of products and services.
Protects Supply Chain
Often, business operations get disrupted in the event of unexpected disruptions. Keeping this in mind, a business continuity plan covers the critical operations requiring mitigation and recovery.It helps business leaders and stakeholders take precautionary steps to safeguard critical operations beforehand. Maintaining the functioning of the entire supply chain allows services and products to be delivered to customers within a committed time.
A well-prepared organization with an effectively drafted business continuity plan provides a competitive advantage to the company.
Customers are assured of being associated with a responsible entity when the organization has a good operation response and recovering capability in emergencies. It promotes a good reputation of the organization in the market amongst competitors and stakeholders.
A business must try to decrease the downtimes, whether it’s resulting from a technical or any human resource outage. A business continuity plan helps organizations reduce downtime and run operations in any emergency situations.
By offering uninterrupted services to the customers, their trust is retained, and the company’s revenue remains unhindered.
Continued Product Excellence
A company that successfully executes an organized business continuity plan can drastically reduce the magnitude of impact during emergencies.
It enables a smooth run of business operations and continued service to customers and vendors. A well-drafted business continuity plan for good risk management helps achieve product excellence for the company.
A business must have a continuity plan and not rely on insurance alone. When unexpected disruptions occur, it’s the continuity plan, and not insurance, that will help recover the peripheral damage, including operational setbacks, loss of customers, and market share.
The organization’s security and safety are strengthened when a good business continuity plan is in place.
We recommend Business Continuity Plan Templates to get started.
In this article, we discussed the importance of having a business continuity plan to ensure your organization’s survival amidst the unexpected. The best place to start for an organization that doesn’t yet have a continuity plan is by carrying out a Business Impact Analysis (BIA).
Having an effective business continuity plan makes it easier to cope with crises. It also helps minimize disruption to your organization’s functioning and proves its robustness to customers, investors, and insurers.
As part of an effective continuity plan, backup of on-premises file servers is critical. Read into Transform On-premises File Servers Backup to the Cloud for a modern, secure, cost-competitive solution.
Learn more on how to prepare and pass the Business Continuity Management (BCM) exam based on ISO 22301.
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