No one likes to think about worst-case scenarios when it comes to their business; but the fact is that businesses, including yours, can be adversely impacted by a number of problems, many of which are out of your control. Equipment breakdowns, natural disasters and cyber security threats are just some of the scenarios that require you to make business continuity planning a part of your overall business plan to ensure that no matter what happens, your business will be able to continue. For a business continuity plan (BCP) to be effective, though, it must contain certain provisions and strategies that include:
A List Of Potential Threats
Not every business is vulnerable to every kind of threat, but every business should behave as if it is. You can make a list of threats that may occur, ordered from most likely to least likely to occur to ensure that you have a plan for recovering from each one. For instance, if you suspect that natural disasters that can destroy your facilities and IT infrastructure are the biggest threat your business will face, a plan for restoration of those must be a priority in your BCP. An analysis of potential threats and a subsequent list will allow you to address each one and determine the steps you’ll have to take to recover from them.
A Breakdown Of Employee Areas Of Responsibility
Chaos often follows a business disruption – the bigger the disruption, the more chaos it can create. That’s why it’s vital that you assign areas of responsibility to individual employees or supervisors so that everyone knows who is in charge and who has decision-making authority. Also, your BCP should also include assignment of disaster recovery teams made up of employees who specialize in particular areas, like IT or communications, who can coordinate with emergency services when necessary.
Emergency Contact Information
An important, but often overlooked, item on a BCP is emergency contact information. Not only should your emergency contact information include phone numbers for police, fire departments and ambulance services, it should also include numbers for utility companies, building maintenance and other external services. All personnel in your company should be listed on the emergency contact information sheet, and you must ensure that their phone numbers are current. It’s never a good idea to assume that everyone who works for you has memorized vital contact information.
Arrangements For Offsite Data Backup
Computers are the heart of nearly every business, which means that a disaster that involves loss of data can be devastating. For that reason, your business continuity planning should include making copies of all of your critical data and storing them on removable media at a separate location or backing up your data over the internet to a remote server. Your BCP should indicate where data is stored and how key personnel can access it.
Your BCP should include these basic items along with backup power, essential equipment, essential services and alternative facilities arrangements. It should also address the recovery phase of any disaster and the steps to restore your business once the disaster has passed. For expert help with your business continuity planning and disaster recovery, contact us at Service IT Direct at http://serviceitdirect.com/.
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