For any business, crises like natural disasters, emergencies, and cyberattacks can be survived if an active business continuity plan is in place. Because adversities usually happen without warning, companies must know what actions to take if something goes wrong.
A business continuity plan can help companies face-threatening situations and be more resilient. Expert IT solutions companies such as NST have the skill and experience to deliver robust plans that protect the business and keep them running throughout the disruption.
What is Business Continuity?
Business continuity (BC) is the maintenance or resumption of business functions after a significant man-made or natural disaster such as a flood, fire, or malicious cyberattacks. A business continuity plan (BCP) is a detailed, documented plan that enumerates the procedures and instructions to be followed by the organization to safeguard its integrity during a crisis. It encompasses business processes, human resources, assets, business partners, and virtually every aspect of the organization.
The BCP is typically a checklist that itemizes the equipment, supplies, data backups, and locations, with the identification of administrative roles and emergency responders, plus the critical personnel and providers for data backup. It could also describe strategies for maintaining the business in case of short-term or long-term outages.
Steps in Developing a Business Continuity Plan
While business continuity planning can be tackled in different ways, IT solutions provider NST follows these steps to develop robust strategies that provide the protection a company needs to recuperate and function immediately after a disruption”
Identifying critical business functions and time-sensitive processes is a crucial first step. It also categorizes every resource that supports these processes. This step aims to document the recovery methods to implement to ensure that business-critical functions and processes can restart.
The initial phase also involves assessing the risks and the potential impact to the business of different scenarios. The biggest threat should also be determined to create the most optimized road map that will guide the organization back to business as usual.
Business impact analysis (BIA) is performed at the critical unit or all unit levels of the business. It provides a vivid picture of the business-critical applications and pinpoints the dependencies, such as essential data and computer systems that are used to run such processes. The information collated during this step is then used to build a strategy that allows the recovery of these critical applications.
The BIA does not depend on the situation and is instead based on the core business processes that need to be immediately recovered.
Every facet of the BCP can be documented in the design. In this part of the plan, every strategy involved in the BCP must be enumerated and described, leaving no gaps or loopholes to ensure the effectiveness of the program. This phase consists of the design of prevention, response, and recovery strategies in great detail.
The design also includes the timetable for recovery or the Recovery Time Objective. It manages expectations of how long recovery would take and operations to resume when a specific incident happens. It gives stakeholders an inkling of the estimated time it takes to activate a recovery plan.
As soon as the BCP has taken shape, it is essential to test its effectiveness, and not only once. It is regularly checked, using every simulated drill for different situations that affect the business. It also evaluates the aptitude of the recovery team and everyone else in the organization in cases of a disaster. Are they ready? If the systems in the design do not work, the BCP should be reevaluated and redesigned to establish which strategies will offer better business recovery.
The rest of the recovery team needs to be trained to provide a tailored continuity solution for the organization.
In reality, business continuity planning is never-ending. As risks and requirements of every organization are ever-changing, so should the plan adapt. At NST, this part of the process is handled by experts who know how to deliver and execute BCPs. Every plan developed by NST meets Information Technology Infrastructure Library standards and is compliant with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.
Trust NST to Create Your Business Continuity Plan
NST has decades of track record in managing BCPs for top companies across Australia and the world, providing best practices and compliance to ensure that every plan is up to par with industry standards. Once NST is onboard, your business is guaranteed full IT support and infrastructure that responds to your needs. Send us a message today to learn more about this service.