Sometimes, even when you least expect it, businesses can fall on hard times. Business continuity is loosely described as plain common sense in running a business and enabling it to stay its course, no matter what challenges may come. When business continuity is employed, owners and operators can stay calm, in spite of figurative storms.
Business continuity involves making the business resilient so that it can rebound effectively and quickly from any kind of disruption, big or small. Business continuity is identifying the key products and services in advance of possible challenges and devising strategic plans for the survival of the business.
Business Continuity Management
With a business continuity plan in place, you can help insure that you can continue to deliver products and services to customers at established levels, even if your business has weathered an operational disruption. It is the process of identifying potential threats and their possible impact to the organization, then devising a strategy to counteract those threats. Business continuity management provides an effective safeguard for stakeholders’ interests and the company brand.
Business continuity includes these key elements:
- Resilience – Important business functions, together with the support infrastructure, must not be materially affected by major disruptions. This is possible through the application of the principle of redundancy and providing spare capacity.
- Recovery – Setting in place a recovery mechanism that will restore the operation of both critical and less-critical functions that have failed.
- Contingency – This element involves setting in place the capability and readiness to effectively respond and cope with major disruptions and incidents, both expected and unforeseen. It is the last-resort action to be taken when resilience and recovery become inadequate solutions.
Business continuity can effectively be achieved by adhering to international standards of program development and support policies. The standards that have been universally accepted ensure that methods and concepts are proven to be effective when applied to the same or similar situations. Management has the task of identifying all potential disasters or disruptions, making contingency plans, stocking up on spare parts and supplies, performing practice drills, and fostering in employees an awareness of the need to adhere to the standards.