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Business Continuity

What is Business Continuity Management?

Business Continuity Management is about being prepared to manage any disruption to your business to ensure the continuity of services to your customers. You want your customers to know that you can provide “business as usual” even if others around you are experiencing difficulties. The disruption to your business could be caused by an emergency such as a flood, fire, or a critical input disruption such as an extended electricity blackout.

What is a Business Continuity Management Plan?

A Business Continuity Management Plan comprises documented arrangements that enable you to manage any disruption to your business and maintain the continuity of services to your customers.

Why should I prepare a Business Continuity Management Plan?

By preparing a Business Continuity Management Plan your business will be more likely to survive an emergency or critical input disruption. The ability to continue trading while competitors experience disruptions may enable you to gain market share and grow your business. Your staff, key customers and insurer may also like to know you have a Business Continuity Management Plan. This will give them more confidence that your business is well organised and able to withstand business disruptions. Business Continuity Management planning will also help you to better understand your business, and its vulnerability.

According to a recent Gartner Group document, a Business Continuity Management Plan should include:

  • a Disaster Recovery Plan, which specifies an organisation's planned strategies for post-failure procedures;
  • a business resumption plan, which specifies a means of maintaining essential services at the crisis location;
  • a business recovery plan, which specifies a means of recovering business functions at an alternate location;
  • and a contingency plan, which specifies a means of dealing with external events that can seriously impact the organisation.

Business continuity has become an increasingly common area of concern since the 911 World Trade Centre disaster, Boxing Day Tsunami, New Zealand Earthquake and the serious flooding in Queensland and Bangkok, in which unforeseen incidents created a sudden and severe threat to crucial functions for a great number of companies.

Disaster Recovery Plans should be well practiced so that the key players are familiar with the specific actions they will need to take should a disaster occur. DR plans must also be adaptable and routinely updated, e.g. if new people, a new branch office, or new hardware or software are added to an organisation they should promptly be incorporated into the organisation's disaster recovery plan. Companies must consider all these facets of their organisation as well as update and practice their plan if they want to maximise their recovery after a disaster.

For more information about Business Continuity, please contact us.