What is Business Continuity Management (BCM)?
Business continuity planning is the process that a company goes through to develop a system for preventing and recovering from potential threats such as natural disasters or cyber-attacks. It is the proactive planning and preparing of an organization to continue operating normally or quickly resume operations following a crisis.
Planning for business continuity is essentially an insurance policy. It gives businesses the peace of mind that, even in the event of a tragedy, the damage won’t be severe.
Business continuity planning is intended to safeguard people and property while ensuring their timely functionality in the event of an emergency.
Business executives have a plan to recognize and handle potential crises before they occur. Afterward, those procedures should be tested to make sure they function, and the process should then be routinely reviewed to make sure it is still current.
The benefits of BCM
There are numerous reasons to have a strong Business Continuity Management program. Here is a list of some of the most important reasons to prioritize Business Continuity Management:
- BCM help to keep your company’s reputation safe. If you can react swiftly and effectively to a disruptive situation, the public will be impressed. This will lessen any unfavorable feelings that can come along with the productivity loss.
- Business continuity ensures that operations and service delivery continue uninterrupted. It maintains the delivery of public safety services, which cannot be allowed to fail. In the event of business disruption it provides the on-going ability to maintain a service or services to customers.
- Business continuity helps to build customer confidence. It increases the confidence of the customers over the organization’s capability and thus being more competent, when others fail to deliver.
- Business continuity gives you a competitive advantage. It aids in maintaining or increasing competitive position by preventing significant harm to your corporate image and reputation; preventing customer and/or shareholder confidence loss; maintaining contractual requirements from key customers and partners as there is no disruption to your supply chain; and preventing market share loss.
- Business continuity provides compliance benefits. It helps in complying with regulatory requirements and supports legal requirements such public records acts, companies acts, tax laws, anti-terrorist and anti-money laundering laws so as to maintain records as well as compliance aspects.
Factors to take into account when writing a continuity plan
What should you think about when creating a continuity plan? Below are just but a few thoughts:
- Identify the procedures that must continue to run during catastrophic events in order to reduce risk. Even if every aspect of a business is important, you must choose the ones that are most significant.
- Risks and threats that your business may face: List any possible hazards and dangers. When arranging the list in order of importance, take into account the likely outcomes. For instance, if you run your business in an earthquake-prone region, seismic risk should be your top concern. Additionally, instruct your staff on how to act in such circumstances.
- Systems and equipment that are crucial: Loss or damage to certain equipment, such computers, can have an impact on your output, business operations, and client relationships. Determine which equipment is most important, especially any that contains private customer information. Servers and irreplaceable software are additional critical systems.
- When a tragedy happens, searching for emergency contacts is the last thing anyone would want to do. Make sure you have a complete and up-to-date list of the local emergency rescue teams, hospitals, and governmental organizations.
- Put in place alternative communication systems and contact information.
- Put in place an alternative office location. Have a backup location where you can continue operations if your office is rendered unusable
Cons of a business continuity plan
Although there are many advantages to business continuity planning, there are also many drawbacks. Here are only a select few:
- A badly written business continuity plan might provide your company a false sense of security.
- Resources such as time and money are also needed for the development of a business continuity strategy. The process of assessing hazards and coming up with mitigation plans takes time. Additionally, hiring an expert to provide feedback when building a business continuity plan would add to the cost.
- Only when everyone is informed of a plan is it effective. However, management could neglect to inform everyone who needs to know. As a result, when a crisis arises, everyone waits impatiently for the crisis management team to take action. The planning efforts might not be successful in the end.
- Some planning teams worry too much about certain catastrophic events rather than what is more significant, such as an earthquake, fire, or flood that can destroy an entire physical business area.