Five Must Have Features in a Business Continuity Plan

Five Must Have Features in a Business Continuity Plan

While business continuity plans should cover topics that extend beyond the realm of technology, it makes sense that technology naturally moves to the forefront when much of the focus of a good business continuity plan focuses on the ability to perform business functions as normal.

Business continuity is defined as “"the capability of an organization to continue the delivery of products or services at pre-defined acceptable levels following a disruptive incident", and disruptive event can have many meanings. It could be a natural disaster, a cyberthreat, or even a short-term outage situation like if your office loses power or internet access.

You should have plans for both short-term and long-term outages written into your plan. However some studies have shown that as high as 51% of businesses globally do not have a business continuity plan in place at all, and what’s worse – only 10% of businesses who experience a disaster and do not have a business continuity plan survive.

Who should make plans for your business if not you? If you have no continuity plan in place you may find that you’re scrambling to make decisions under duress and attempting to delegate to third party vendors who have their bottom line in mind, not yours.

So, how do you start in creating that plan? The first step is to have an honest look at your businesses risk factors. This includes environmental factors, does your area face brown outs when the heat starts to peak in the summer? Or snow that prevents employees from reaching the office in the winter at times?

Maybe there are some things that are individual to you, such as touch and go internet access in your office building or phonelines that are less than reliable. Do you have a server on its last legs that’s been acting finicky? Its eventual failure should be written into your continuity plan.

You also need to look at your cyber risks, if your employees aren’t being training on cybersecurity safety then that’s a huge factor that must be addressed and planned for. You need to ask yourself what you would do if your data was breached, or an employee email was compromised.

It’s overwhelming but as with most things starting the process is the hardest part and having a candid look at your business could mean eliminating certain risk factors (like moving data away from the server on it’s last legs into a cloud solution).

You may even find ways to make your business more efficient, if you know brown outs are common where your office building is located in the summer perhaps you would make a plan to have employees work from home more during that time. Or having your internet service provider address the issue of frequent outages rather than just rolling with them as they occur.

All in all, these are the five things we would suggest you focus on as you make your business continuity plan:

  1. Technology – How will employees continue to work if your office operations have been waylaid.
  2. Power – If power goes out what kind of backup plan will you need to have in place, such as a generator to keep your server online.
  3. Communications – Do you have a standard way with communicating with your employees? If you need to get a message out quickly to all of them, could you presently do that?
  4. Vendors – Inform your vendors of the provisions you’ve put in place in case a disaster were to occur, and inquire what plans they have in place on their end (because a disaster for them could be a disaster for you).
  5. Data Protection – Most businesses require an online presence to continuing operations, you will need provisions for if your data is compromised or inaccessible. At Valley Techlogic we suggest having a multi-layer backup approach, so if one backup is compromised you will have the others to fall back on.

To get you started, we’ve prepared this emergency contact worksheet for your employees. You can fill in who they should begin to reach out to and what steps they should take if an emergency occurs. If you would like us to personalize it with your logo just let us know.

Click to grab the full size version for your business. Need it personalized? Contact us.

Valley Techlogic can help you to begin establishing a business continuity plan and also help you with mitigating risks to your business, learn more today.

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