Importance of Business Continuity Planning

BCP - Business Continuity Planning

What is Business Continuity Planning

A Business Continuity Plan is the documentation of all proactive procedures and necessary resources required for the business survival in the catastrophic events such as fire, flood, storm, threats and other dangerous situations. The main purpose of this plan is to foresee and plan for such crisis situations before they ascend, so businesses can minimize their impacts. Having business continuity plan shows a positive approach and improves the company’s reputation with customers, employees and other stakeholders.

Why is Business Continuity Planning important

In today’s modern era, technology can sometimes predict natural disaster events but it is impossible to avoid them. It is a reality that disasters do happen and can happen anywhere and to anybody or any business.

Following statistics indicate the need for a contingency plan:

  • A business catches fire at every five minutes in North America, 90% of which suffer terrible losses.
  • 75% of all the businesses in North America keep their original and backup data on-site. Which means more chances of losing all data in the event of any emergency situation.
  • Not only natural causes but hidden factors and human errors also can cause damage to a business.
  • 30% organizations in North America are “not confident at all” in recovering their data center in a reasonable amount of time
  • In the event of natural disaster, 27% organizations have not been able enter their office and more than 30% missed a week or more of work.

Effective business continuity plan can help businesses in the following aspects:

  • Preservation of cash flow
  • Security of dynamic data
  • Safety of employees
  • Legal requirements by law

Alberta, Canada experienced heavy rain in June 2013 that caused disastrous flooding which was portrayed as the worst flooding in the history of Alberta. More than 180,000 workers had to leave their homes and were unable to go to work. In addition many businesses were compelled to shut down their operations and wait until things were under control, and were forced to use social media to inform their staff that workplace facilities were not accessible. Others requested their employees to work remotely if they could and some large corporations set up remote offices isolated from the flood affected areas.

Things outside our control can happen to any business which can have major impacts on their operations. Implementation of effective business continuity planning can help businesses to recover from such a disaster.

Same as other organizations, Sun Life Financial also had to concentrate on keeping their business running so they could provide the services their customers were expecting. Because of their business continuity plan, the company was aware their employees were safe and due to an alternative worksite plan, they were able to keep operating without any major impact on the business.

A recent study by Gartner proves that business continuity is being increasingly recognized as a mission-critical aspect for most businesses. The study report forecasts that 50% of the Fortune 2000 companies will implement a higher level of business continuity management by 2015.

Is your business prepared for a catastrophic event? Does your business have a Business Continuity Plan which has the necessary information and resources to adequately deal with emergencies?

Looking forward to hearing your ideas and feedback.

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Article was originally published by Chirag Khasia on LinkedIn Pulse on December 4th, 2014

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