What You Need to See in a Business Continuity Plan
Bad things happen. If your business fails to plan for the worst, when something terrible does happen, you could be looking at disaster. If you have a comprehensive continuity plan in place, however, you have a fighting chance. Let’s discuss some of the elements you absolutely need to address when making your business’ continuity plan.
There is always risk in business. The better your organization can assess--and plan for--risk, the better it will respond after adversity. Here are a few variables that you should see in your business continuity plan:
- A Threat Matrix - Risk management starts with identifying possible risks. That means all legitimate threats; of which there are quite a few. Take a while considering all the relevant risks to your business and rank them from most likely to happen to least likely.
- Critical Processes - Outline what makes your business run. Every business relies on critical processes that if interrupted could be devastating to achieving success.
- Command Chain - Not everyone is a boss. Businesses have a chain of command that should be documented. Be sure to accurately represent how your business works and not just the titles of the people involved.
- Employee Safety and Evacuation Plan - One part of risk management is to ensure no one gets hurt and that everyone is updated with all relevant information. The first part relies on you having a comprehensive safety and evacuation plan in place.
- Communication Plan and Contact Information - The other part is to have an idea about who will be the point of contact for each threat. If your marketing office springs a leak and six inches of water rushes in, does your accounting team on the next floor need to be notified immediately? Breaks in continuity mean all breaks and every department should have a point of contact registered in the continuity plan.
- Backup Processes - One of the big considerations when any threat comes to fruition is data. It is one of the most important assets any company has. Ensuring that your backup and disaster recovery processes are regularly tested and maintaining redundancy is crucial to almost any problem.
- IT Inventory and Infrastructure - Most businesses don’t have a whole other office ready to go when something fails. Ensuring you know what is in your inventory, how it is used, and how to restore those systems if something were to happen to your physical infrastructure is an important consideration.
- End of Incident Criteria - When a breach in continuity happens, downtime is most certainly the enemy, but what would be worse is if you are fighting for your business’ life and the threat has passed without any notice. Be sure that when a situation comes to light that you have the system in place to be able to review the problem and return to normalcy.
A business continuity plan can literally save your business from anything...from a malware attack to a flood. These line-items will help you build a solid continuity plan, but if you really want to hash your plan out, call the IT consultants at MERIT Solutions. We can help you build a continuity plan that will allow your organization to respond to anything thrown its way. Contact us today at (757) 420-5150.