Business continuity refers to the specific plan of action designed to deal with difficult situations so that it enables business operations to function with minimal interruption. Having some kind of business continuity planning in place is desirable for all organizations irrespective of their size, revenue, or the industry that it represents.
What is Business Continuity?
Business continuity can be defined as ‘the set of processes, procedures, and decisions that an organization deploys during a business disruption to ensure that an organization can still continue to function despite the interruption. It is about making proactive plans to help the organization to respond and navigate to a crisis and its ability to quickly recover and return to ‘business as usual’
Why is business continuity important?
In an organizational context, any crisis whether manmade or natural has the potential to adversely impact business operations. If you are in a business where downtime is unacceptable or can lead to huge losses, then business continuity is critical. Downtime can be caused due to multiple factors including natural calamities like floods, tor extreme weather conditions as well as other situations like fire, cyber-attacks, etc. To insulate businesses from such situations it is imperative that organizations implement a business continuity plan that takes into account every possible disruption and develops mitigation actions to address such disruptions.
The plan at the least should be able to clearly identify which operations would function and which would not, defining the minimal level of operations for business to continue. Business continuity equips the organization to build its own defense mechanisms against potential failure and maintain resiliency, in responding quickly to such events. A solid business continuity plan insulates organizations from losses arising out of interruptions saving money, time, and company reputation. Outages that extend for longer periods can cause financial and reputational loss.
Business continuity requires organizations to assess themselves, analyze potential weaknesses and collect and organize key information such as contact lists, floor plans of offices, technical diagrams, and architecture of systems that would prove essential during disruption events. In addition, organizations must also train their employees in handling operations during such times. By initiating a business continuity planning process, an organization bolsters its response to deal with the crisis, improving communication, technology, and resilience mechanisms.