Tornado’s, flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters; fire, threats, civil disturbance, accidents, structure failures, are always present and a fact of life.
Survival of your home, family and business is always a paramount issue when events such as these occur. But are you ready?
Find a location on Earth that is immune for a natural disaster and share it; because I want to move there. There isn’t. And because both natural and “man-made” events happen, you as a business person needs to be prepared.
Preparation takes time and thought, patience and practice, but done correctly and continually can mean the difference between being a going concern and failure.
Are you prepared?
Business Continuity is much, much more than data recovery and backing up your computers. It’s taking your company’s core business
You say you have a plan! Walk over to the most junior member of your company and ask them what the Business Continuity Plan is or their part in the Plan. I can tell you the answer without being there – confusion, doubt and no knowledge of what you are talking about. The same goes for most of your mid and senior level people.
If they don’t know the Plan, or specifically their role and the role of the person above and below, as well as adjacent to them; then you DO NOT HAVE A PLAN!
So you have a Plan, congratulations. When was it written, and last updated. More than 6 months… you don’t have a fully functional Plan; or you may not have a plan at all, depending on how stale it is!
So, you have a Plan, and it was last updated 5 months ago. When was the last time you fully tested it? Never? Then you DO NOT HAVE A PLAN!
Testing a plan is essential for both practice and finding gaps in the plan. Imagine trying a telephone tree to contact employees, only to find out cell service is out and you don’t have any non-cell numbers at hand!
In a recent survey of Hedge Funds conducted by COOConnect.com, 98% had Plans, but 67% of the Hedge Funds were too far away from the impact of Super Storm Sandy to be affected. Those who were closer had time to implement remote connection procedures.
That’s great, but did the 98% of the Hedge Funds plan for loss of power, phone lines, cell service, internet service, transportation and all the other effects of Sandy that many areas of the Northeast felt and to some extent, still does? Without a fully fleshed out and practiced plan, you DO NOT HAVE A PLAN!
What’s important is that all aspects of the Business Continuity Plan be tested, including such mundane issues of how to get to the office, who’s in charge and how do you keep your customers and vendors in the “loop” while you are in your event (and working under your Plan)!
What’s in a Plan?
Business Continuity includes (and this is just a brief listing) of:
Hazard Vulnerability Assessment
Business Impact Analysis
Mission Essential Functions (Level 1 Revenue Producing Business Activities)
Critical Support Functions (Level II activities in support of core business functions)
Physical Infrastructure (Security)
Threat Profile e.g. High-Profile Investors
Crisis Management Team
Crisis Management and Business Continuity Plan
3. Disaster Recovery
4. Business Continuity
5. IT Resiliency
6. Incident/Crisis Management Assistance Team