Being always prepared for the worst Is a very important part of any business operation. By looking past and towards cyberattack and natural disasters, businesses are taking preventive steps so they can resume their business operations as quickly as possible. Business continuity planning is often mistaken with the process of disaster recovery planning. While a recovery plan focuses on restoring all operations and the IT infrastructure after a disaster, it is only a part of the larger business continuity which ensures the continuity of the whole company.
Today we are going to focus on the most important tips for creating the best business continuity plan so make sure you read until the end.
Why is business continuity so important?
The focus is always on the customer. If an adverse event happens, it could be the perfect opportunity to see how good your business is in retaining your customers. By handling this event effectively and thoughtfully, you can build the confidence of your customers which in turn improves your business’ reputation and market value. In the age of ransomware, it is always expected to have good security. Businesses need to look at all the regulations that are within the industry and shape their recovery plan around allowable downtimes. Doing this builds the customer’s confidence in your business. If you fail to do this, your market value may drop significantly.
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Structure of a business continuity plan
If you want to develop a business continuity plan and do not have one already, the best place to start creating one is by taking notes of which parts of your business are currently the most vulnerable and identify important losses if your company were to go down for a certain period of time. The usual continuity plan is made of identifying the scope of the plan, critical function, dependencies, and the key business areas between any give business areas of functions. The next should be about the longest possible downtime for RTO (critical function) and creating a plan to maintain your business’ operations.
As you create your business plan, ensure that you have checked all of the business requirements, including locating data backup sites, contact information for emergency responders and developing a disaster recovery plan. If you want a successful continuity plan, then be sure to consult IT staff from other companies that have already successfully recovered from such a disaster.
Test your continuity plan
The only way to find out if your business continuity plan will work is by simply testing it. By doing a controlled test, you will be able to find out any weaknesses in your continuity strategy and improve it. Most organizations test their continuity plan about two to four times a year and depend on the amount of turnover of IT staff. It is crucial that you do not take the easy way out when it comes to developing your test. A lot of continuity plan tests include walk-through, table-top exercises and simulation. If you go for a simple test and do not put any pressure on your plan, you will not have any confidence in your plan if a real disaster hits.