Business continuity plans refer to the preventive and recovery strategies that must be carried out when the disaster occurs until the time normal operations are restored. It is a time-consuming process where organizations must gather copious amounts of data to develop the procedures that keep data available and protected at all times.
Like Rome, actionable business continuity strategies aren’t built in a day. Multiple factors need to be taken into consideration. One mistake could be the difference between whether your business survives a tornado or is swept away for good. Ensure a fully-functioning business continuity plan by avoiding these common mistakes.
Not gathering senior management support
Lack of senior management support and funding could kill your business continuity plan before you've even started. As such, you need to make a good business case for starting one. Convince senior managers and accountants by showing them the potential financial losses if your business experienced downtime.
Failing to comply with standards
Besides providing the necessary framework for building a business continuity strategy, it’s important to comply with standards since it helps increase your chances of passing a future audit or an evaluation by an existing or prospective customer.
Not performing and business impact or risk analysis
Business impact analysis (BIA) identifies all business assets (servers, workstations, applications), and predicts and assesses the potential impact of suddenly losing those assets. In relation with BIA, risk assessment (RA) identifies internal and external threat scenarios as well as operational vulnerabilities that could disrupt the critical processes established in the BIA.
Failing to define response and recovery strategies
Response and recovery strategies are developed from the results of your business's BIA and RA. They describe what the company needs to do to avoid incidents from happening, how to respond to them if they do, mitigate the severity of an incident, and how to resume business operations as quickly as possible.
Not defining incident response and damage assessment procedures
When faced with a disaster, a fast, organized response doesn't only minimize damage sustained, but also reduces incident time. That's why it's crucial to teach employees what their roles are in the recovery process, how to respond to a disaster incident, and whom they should contact.
Neglecting to conduct business continuity exercises
Business continuity exercises help ensure that data contained within the plan is up-to-date, and that the emergency procedures are correct and are in the proper sequence. Once business continuity plans are exercised, you can take a look at the after-action report that identified what did and didn't work, along with recommendations that could improve your business continuity strategy.
Failing to regularly review and maintain plans
The only business continuity plans that are useful to any organization are the ones that are up-to-date. They must be accurate and periodically reviewed for content and other important metrics. Because plans are subject to audit standards, it's important to design them using the frameworks that are consistent with BC standards.
The future is never certain. You never know when you’ll enjoy smooth sailing or when you’re going to brave the storm. That’s why you need a business continuity plan in place -- because when disaster strikes, the last thing you need is to question whether or not you’re going to make it. PC Lan Techs offers Business Continuity Planning for business throughout Southern Florida. If you’re interested in implementing one for your business, feel free to give us a call.