Business Continuity

Business Continuity Management (BCM) is an incredibly critical, but often overlooked, activity for businesses large and small.

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What is BCM?

The Business Continuity Institute defines Business Continuity Management as:

  • a holistic management process that identifies potential impacts that threaten an organisation,
  • provides a framework for building resilience, and
  • the capability for an effective response that safeguards the interests of its key stakeholders, reputation, brand, and value creating activities.

Often Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery are confused as the same thing.  Disaster Recovery (the recovery of critical business data and/or IT systems) is only, an albeit important, component of a more holistic approach to protecting the continuance of a business.

Increasingly organisations are rightly focusing their efforts on “Organisational Resilience“, a term which is interchangeable with business continuity management.

 

Why do businesses often overlook BCM?

There are several degrees that business overlook BCM. Some just don’t realise that they should consider the effects of failure. Some realise that there is a risk but consider that the risk is not big enough to do anything about it. Some will believe that insurances will help them balance the risks. A growing number of businesses are starting to take a step towards managing continuity by putting in place disaster recovery systems to help them restore data and IT systems in the event of an incident. Only a small (but slowly growing) proportion of businesses prepare themselves for the worst, whilst of course hoping that their preparations are never needed.

 

What could go wrong?

Any element or combination of fire, flood, theft, vandalism, service outage, equipment failure, loss of critical information, incapacitation of key resources and more could leave your business paralysed. For many businesses within a matter of hours this can lead to severe revenue impacts and very quickly leave their reputation irreparably damaged. Depending on the severity of an incident and the time it takes to recover service, a startling number of impacted businesses fail to recover and actually quickly go out of business.

 

PlanWhat is a Business Continuity Plan (BCP)?

 

A fundamental part of BCM, a BCP considers risks and puts in place affordable mitigations to allow timely continuance of an organisations core functions in the event of a disaster. Put simply, in preparing your BCP you will need to look at the main risks to your business, their likely impact, and then devise unique recovery strategies, and incident response plans.

 

Are there other benefits in having a BCP?

Yes.  Apart from allowing company directors and officers to sleep more soundly, there are many significant benefits including:

  • access to more tender lists (having a BCP is increasingly seen as a basic competitive requirement)
  • reduced insurance premiums
  • customer satisfaction, client confidence & competitive advantage
  • employee confidence & retention

 

Why is Business Continuity Planning relevant to project management professionals?

ProjExc BCP Project Steps

A BCP is a plan for the most important project, which you hope will never need to be implemented, for your business. Who better to prepare that plan than a project planning expert? A project management professional is essential for planning your most important business project, but it is noteworthy that many project managers don’t have sufficient specific knowledge or the full toolset needed to efficiently prepare an effective and reliable BCP. While many large organisations will have a program or project management office (PMO) suitably equipped for helping prepare a BCP, many others don’t have that luxury.

 

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How can ProjExc help with your Organisational Resilience?

Whether you want to implement BCM in such a way as to fully comply with the standards within ISO 22301, or you just want to use a common sense approach based on recognised best practice, ProjExc can help. They have the expertise, tools, templates and experience to guide you or your project manager through every stage from policy creation to testing and acceptance of your solutions as well as the ongoing maintenance of your plans. What’s more they have a collaborative framework in place to help bring together the experts needed to ensure that your business has the needed protection, within the timescales you need and within a budget that you can afford.

Call ProjExc on 0121 222 5744 and find out how easy it will be to create organisational resilience for your business.

 

Disaster Recovery for Your Data

An important part of of any BCP is the time it takes to recover your critical business data. In the5nines_Logo_trans_bkgnd IT world, 99.999 (often called “five 9s”) refers to a desired percentage of availability of a given computer system. 5nines by our friends at ATG delivers the most aggressive Recovery Time Objective (RTO) of any backup and disaster recovery solution available. By leveraging instant on-and off-site virtualisation, screenshot backup verification, local encryption and Backup Insights, 5nines by ATG can deliver a significant contribution to intelligent business continuity.

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