It’s impossible to predict every risk that could affect your organization. Cyber attacks, ransomware, natural disasters, and power outages are all potential threats that could disrupt your business. While prevention is key, you must prepare for interruptions to your daily operations.
That is why a business continuity plan — a detailed plan that explains how your company will continue to operate in the event of a disruption — is so crucial for your risk management program.
The purpose of a business continuity plan (BCP) is to help keep your company operational during a disruption, and to allow you to return to full functionality as quickly as possible.
Business continuity plans are related – but not identical – to disaster recovery plans, in that a business continuity plan’s focus is to keep your business as functional as possible while an interruption is taking place.
No organization is immune to service disruptions, and preparedness can help shorten your recovery time and protect you from reputational damage and potential lawsuits. Regardless of your industry, your company can benefit from having a business continuity plan in place.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Business Continuity Plan?
A business continuity plan brings numerous benefits. First, having a plan in place will keep you on track when interruptions inevitably occur. This will help you retain the confidence of your board and stakeholders, as well as give you and your staff peace of mind. A continuity plan can also help you to contain problems before they can spread to other areas of the enterprise and cause further damage.
Perhaps most importantly, a business continuity plan can lessen the financial harm to your company. A disruption can result in loss of profit and loss of valuable resources as you attempt to regain normalcy.
Having a business recovery plan in place will mean that when disaster strikes your business operations can resume as soon as possible.
Key Elements of an Effective Business Continuity Plan
Every company’s business continuity planning process will be different, and it is important to design yours based upon the particular challenges your organization faces. There are some basic principles that you can follow while creating a business continuity plan:
Examine Your Organization
Look closely at your company: what are the most critical business functions your company needs for operations to continue? How can you prevent these business processes from being affected in the event of a disaster, and which should be prioritized over others?
Perform a Risk Assessment
Determining the particular risks that could affect your company is a critical step in developing business continuity planning. You should also perform a business impact analysis (BIA) to understand which risks are the most likely and which have the potential to do the most harm.
Once you know the potential threats you’re facing, you can determine what prevention and recovery strategies to put in place and create response plans for each risk.
Consider Your Full Risk Environment
A single disruption in one department has the potential to spread to other areas of your organization. Consider how different parts of your company interact and factor those relationships into your continuity plan. You should also consider unexpected threats and factor them into your risk mitigation efforts.
Monitor and Adapt As Necessary
Your business continuity plan should not remain static. As your company grows and new threats emerge, your plan should shift to meet those new challenges. Monitor your company’s risk landscape and revisit your plan frequently to determine if any alterations need to be made.
Let ZenGRC Be a Part of Your Business Continuity Plan
Understanding your company’s risk landscape is a crucial part of developing your business continuity plan. It can be difficult to know exactly what threats you’re facing while using outdated methods of tracking risk.
To create a successful business continuity plan, you need a clear view of every potential risk that could interrupt your operations.
ZenGRC is an integrated software solution that can help you design and execute your business continuity plan. By providing a clear view of your entire organization’s risk landscape you can centralize your plans, assign tasks to staff members, and easily remediate issues as they arise.
Schedule a demo today to learn more about how ZenGRC can help create a successful business continuity management plan for your company.