Whether it’s pandemics, supply chain disruptions, natural disasters or IT outages, there’s no shortage of events that can disrupt your complex and interconnected business processes. Building an Effective Business Continuity (BCP) and Disaster Recovery (DRP) plan to address all these threats can be challenging.
Business continuity and disaster recovery touch every aspect of your organization, making them potentially the most complex projects you’ll take on. Whether you are doing this internally or using external providers of business continuity services or a combination, the key to success is to streamline the efforts in order to get far.
The core goal of your plan is to prepare the business for a disaster scenario, thus minimizing operational downtime when such an event occurs. We have put together a checklist of the core objectives for successful business continuity planning.
- The most important step in creating a comprehensive plan is to identify your business continuity plan objectives. Putting business continuity goal and objectives into words serves two purposes:
With core objectives identified, the detailed work of writing the plan would need to be more specific. There are likely several specific business continuity plan objectives, which you should include as a brief list at the opening of your BCP. A business continuity plan consists of separate but related sub-plans
In modern organizations IT touches all aspects of the business and needs to be included in the planning exercise right from the outset. IT leaders that are asked to develop a BCP tend to start with an IT Disaster Recovery Plan simply because a BCP requires workarounds for IT failures and it’s difficult to plan workarounds without a clear understanding of the potential IT downtime and data loss. It is important to determine the recovery time objectives (RTO), recovery point objectives (RPO) and the mean time to recovery (MTTR) that will allow to build your BC and DR plans.
- First it gives plan administrators a guide to what the plan aims to accomplish. This helps to provide a high-level overview of the areas that must be addressed within the document as it is being created and maintained.
- Second it gives stakeholders and other personnel a clearer understanding of the document’s purpose and scope.
E.g. think of payroll: if downtime might be 24 hours, the business might simply wait for recovery; if downtime might be a week, waiting is not an option.
BCP objectives must also demonstrate compliance with demands from regulators and customers. BCP is being demanded more and more to comply with regulations, mitigate business risk, meet customer demands, and obtain insurance.
A comprehensive BCP plan will aim to satisfy auditors, customers, and insurance providers who demand proof of a continuity plan. It is key to demonstrate to these and other stakeholders that you can overcome disruptions and continue to deliver your services.
Another core part of the objectives of business continuity planning is clarifying the risk of the status quo to business leaders so they can make informed decisions on where to invest in business continuity.
Driving value is core to any business and your BCP should aim to benefit business by enabling flexibility. Mobile and adaptable business operations that can overcome disruptions large and small. This includes making it easier to work remotely in response to pandemics or facility disruptions.
Good business continuity solutions should help demonstrate commitment to resilience by identifying gaps in current capabilities and projects to overcome those gaps while establishing a culture of business readiness and resilience.
Comprehensive enterprise disaster recovery solutions aim to empower business users to develop their plans and perform regular maintenance to ensure plans don’t go stale
Finally, if your BCP and DRP relies heavily on paper-based processes as workarounds, it’s time to update your plan. Technology is a critical dependency for business processes. Consider the role IT systems play as process dependencies and as workarounds as part of continuity planning. Traditional consultants don’t usually have an incentive to accelerate the process often producing a dense manual that checkboxes but isn’t maintainable or usable in a crisis. A traditional BCP process takes longer to show value and often prove to be of no value.
If your organization is considering implementing business continuity (BCP) and disaster recovery planning (DRP) integrated solutions, we invite you to explore the Maclear GRC Suite™ by visiting https://www.maclearglobal.com. Our comprehensive range of solutions is designed using best practices with built-in integration to reduce risk, improve performance, and enable strategic decision-making.
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