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Why your company needs a business continuity plan

Disaster can strike your company anytime without warning, and if you are not prepared, the consequences can be disastrous.

It doesn’t matter if you are a small business or an established corporation – the way that your company handles a disaster is crucial for your reputation and future growth.

If you are not prepared for disasters then you risk losing everything. Your company’s reputation can be severely damaged or even destroyed if you are not able to provide services when your customers need them.

What is a business continuity plan?

A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that outlines a company’s steps in the case of a major crisis, and how it will continue to operate.

Your business continuity plan is like a safety net. It helps you overcome disasters and gives your business the ability to bounce back. It doesn’t matter how large or small your company is; if you do not have a dedicated plan in place, you are putting yourself at risk.

This plan usually includes information on business data backup and recovery, alternative sites for work processes to continue, and how to restore critical systems. BCPs are designed to ensure that your company continues functioning with minimal interruption in the event of an emergency situation.

The BCP can help protect your company from any number of instances that may cause an interruption in services. These interruptions range from natural disasters to cyber-attacks.

Why is a BCP important?

Many people think that they are not at risk of a disaster, but the truth is that disasters are never predictable. They can happen anytime and anywhere. It is important to have a BCP in place so you can have a backup plan for all your operations, and experience as little downtime as possible.

ITIC’s 2021 Hourly Cost of Downtime Survey stated 91% of organisations say an hour of downtime averages over $300,000 of lost business, productivity disruptions, and remediation efforts, while 1% of organisations – small businesses of less than 50 employees – estimates that hourly downtime costs less than $100,000.

With so much to lose in such a small timeframe, it’s clear that having a plan in place in the event of unexpected crisis is the key to minimising downtime and revenue losses.

A BCP can help businesses survive natural disasters, cyber attacks, power outages, and other incidents. It also provides guidance for how to handle different types of disruptions. It requires an organisation’s executives and managers to make the tough decisions about what steps to take when disruption happens.

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What’s the difference between a BCP and a disaster recovery plan?

A business continuity plan is a strategy for not only recovering from unforeseen disasters, but also for mitigating the risk of such an event occurring.

A disaster recovery plan (DRP), on the other hand, is a strategy that addresses how to recover from an event that has already occurred – mainly restoring IT infrastructure and operations.

The difference between these two plans lies in the time frame and their focus: BCPs are usually employed to help companies anticipate and avoid internal disruption due to events, while DRPs are used reactively by companies who have experienced some form of disruption, and recover their data or online operations.

Consequently, there are different objectives for each type of plan.

The objective of a business continuity plan is to keep the organisation running as normal as possible should an unforeseen event occur, while disaster recovery plans aim to minimise any downtime or disruption that may have occurred due to unexpected events.

How to create an effective BCP

The type of plan depends on your business industry, size, and risks. You will need to assess your business processes and procedures to determine which areas are vulnerable, and what potential losses you will suffer if they go down.

Your BCP should be created after an effective risk assessment, and include:

A disaster recovery plan is part of your BCP. If you do not already have a DRP, developing one needs to be part of your BCP process.

Get BCP advice from the experts

Your business needs a plan to keep running in the face of any eventuality. The aim of a BCP is to minimise the impact on your business during any disruption – but creating a BCP is time-consuming and can be difficult.

The business IT specialists at NetworkIQ have all the expertise and tools you need to build an effective BCP. Talk to a consultant today and get started on the path to a secure business future.

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