Planning for Business Continuity - An organizational imperative

Article by Nilesh Rane

Before discussing why Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is imperative to an organization, let’s give a thought to what’s the worst that could happen in the event of a disaster?

  1. Permanent loss of data
  2. Loss of lives, office property and infrastructure
  3. Brand value in the market dips considerably
  4. You take a long time to recover from the hit, and in some cases, simply cannot recover.

Industry analysts say that every two out of five businesses that experience a disaster shut shop within five years of the disaster occurrence. And a disaster need not be a natural calamity like the recent earthquakes in Japan, manmade such as fire tragedies due to negligence or terrorist attacks. Disasters could even occur because of serious malware attacks, hackers disrupting daily operations etc. So considering all these possibilities, the probability of disaster striking your organization is quite high, and considering that the worst that could happen is the loss of the entire business, it makes perfect sense to have a back-up plan.

Now let’s also ponder over the reasons as to why you must have BCP for your organization, without a doubt.

  1. It is your duty towards your business, your employees and your customers
  2. You can rest assured that you have back-up of all the critical data and processes of the organization
  3. You can recover really fast, within a few days, in the event of a disaster
  4. Good BCP safeguards your brand reputation, and ups your credibility considerably among stakeholders.

This is why Business Continuity Disaster Recovery Planning becomes very important to an organization that is serious about its growth and development… And it is important that serious thought goes into BCP to come up with a plan that will meet the needs of your organization. A one-plan-fits-all approach simply ceases to work in the actual event of a disaster.

Once the organization has decided to invest in an effective DR and Business Continuity Planning initiative within the organization, here are a few touch points, that must be covered and the plan must incorporate….

  1. The consensus and complete support of senior management is very important to a good plan
  2. A comprehensive risk assessment of the organization is the next important step
  3. A business impact analysis will help identify and define critical business processes and in what priority they need to be up in case of a disaster
  4. Once this is done, a proper plan needs to be incorporated. This needs to cover aspects such as media management etc. where it is important that the organization already prepares communication messages to various stake holders in the event of disaster. What would you like to communicate to your customers, to journalists, to employees and to your investors; it is a very crucial part of disaster recovery and BCP.

Invest in a good and effective BCP solution; it is an invaluable piece of insurance that will fetch immeasurable returns in the event of a disaster.