By OSCAR MUNOZ
When Disaster Strikes
When a business faces technological disruptions or natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, fires and tornadoes, no one anticipates it. These types of events occur when least expected and can result in either a major loss of personnel, workplaces, dependencies, revenue or potentially all. For instance, let’s consider a huge fire that endangers the workplace inflicting structural damage to all nearby buildings. If employees are traveling to the affected worksites during this time, it may not be safe for them. So where can the employees go if the affected worksite(s) are unavailable due to the structural damage caused by the earthquake? How can employees continue to perform there day to day activities and minimizing downtime?
In the event of a disaster, it is important for employers to be prepared and employees to be made aware of the potential dangers, provided with instructions on where to work from if their worksite(s) are unavailable. It is ultimately the responsibility of leadership to ensure the safety of their employees and that they can continue to run their business.
In today’s world, earthquakes, floods, civil unrest matters occur more frequently and create havoc for businesses costing them millions of dollars in revenue and in some worst-case scenarios leading them to go out of business. Following a disaster, almost 90% of smaller companies fail within a year unless they can resume in 5 days and 20% of larger companies will spend over 10 days per month on their continuity plans. (FEMA)
Develop A Business Continuity Program
By designing a Business Continuity (BC) Program, you can increase the chances of your business surviving unforeseen disruptions. There are best practices and standards (DRJ & ISO22301) to help establish and outline the criteria for a Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery and Emergency Management program. These standards are meant to guide organizations and promote a shared understanding of the fundamentals of Business Resiliency.
Before developing a BCP, there are preliminary steps to be considered. Seeking professional Business Continuity consulting is a good start to obtain the best results for the program. A Business Continuity consultant should be able to walk a client step by step on how to design the right program for any business. They should also be able to provide the framework, tools and training for the program to be successful. A Business Continuity program should be consistent with the organization’s mission, management policy, finances and be assessed and improved on an annual basis.
What Your Business Continuity Plans Should Look Like
Once the Business Continuity Program is up and running, the end goal is to have well documented and tested Business Continuity plans. This will ensure your employees understand their roles during a disruptive event and the business can quickly become operational again. The plans should include an outline of recovery strategies and who should be responsible for specific tasks to assist in implementation when the disruptive event takes place. The Business Continuity Plan should be assessed regularly to meet compliance requirements by conducting periodic reviews, testing, and evaluating post-incident reports and overall improving the program.
Your Business Continuity Plan should include the following
- Appropriate recovery strategies for a variety of loss scenarios
- Mitigation plan that establishes interim and long-term actions to minimize downtime during recovery
- Short-term and long-term strategies that address processes, staff, and acceptable time frames for the restoration of services, facilities, programs, and technology.
- Documented critical and time-sensitive applications recovery procedures, vital records, processes, and functions that have a critical impact to your business if unavailable.
- Call tree or notification procedure to activate the plan
- List of recovery team members with detailed contact information who can carry out specific tasks during recovery
All businesses are subject to unplanned and inevitable disasters that pose potential threats. Having a well-documented & exercised Business Continuity Program can mean the difference between a business that is resilient and a business that fails when disaster strikes. Be prepared by reviewing your business continuity plan now.
Oscar Munoz is a Business Continuity Consultant at Virtual Corporation who has a combination of 6 years in IT, Business Continuity, Vendor Management & Business Analytics. He brings a deep understanding of IT and Business Resiliency and carries a broad set of skills that crosses technical, business risk, program, and vendor management. Oscar can conduct Business Impact Analysis, Business Continuity Planning and exercise validation on processes & regulations on all layers of an organization, including analyzing & implementing solutions to meet regulatory requirements and management of disasters that lead to business disruptions.
Interested in learning more about how to construct or revise your business continuity plans? Contact Virtual Corporation today for business continuity and organizational resilience solutions.
Source: DRJ New feed