A catastrophic disruption to your business is hardly a pleasant thought to ponder. Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, pandemics, and terrorism are ever-present in this day and age, and failure to establish a solid business continuity plan (BCP) can potentially shatter your bottom line to the brink of utter devastation.
Whether you are creating a new enterprise or updating your current infrastructure, it is crucial to ask a few questions before establishing any reliable business continuity plan. Foremost, have you adequately addressed your vendors, commonly known as the fourth block of business continuity (BC)? Does your BCP incorporate adequate situational analysis? And lastly, is your disaster response plan organized effectively enough to implement into swift action?
In the US, not to mention the rest of the globe, major disasters occur almost annually. Senior technicians at PCH Technologies confirm that when you underestimate the critical significance of sound business continuity management, you place your operations at considerable risk. It is only a matter of time before your organization confronts the impacts of an unexpected disaster. According to FEMA, 25 percent of all disaster-impacted businesses shutter permanently.
Understanding the essential components of continuity planning is the best way to avert undue risk exposure to a disaster. Your disaster response planning team should always take into account the three following factors:
1. Third-party vendors
Every business plan should address four key elements: workplace disruption, reduction in workforce, disrupted computer IT services, and stoppages from your core vendor product and service suppliers. Most executives factor the first three on the list automatically. They represent that which the management team commands total control. Concerning the fourth factor, third-party vendor services -this variable is too frequently dropped off of the list if it is even accounted for in the first place.
Any reliable business impact analysis must necessarily gauge the effects of a vendor stoppage after a serious disaster. On the one hand, it’s easy to comprehend why companies fail to address vendors in their BCP. Because your third-party business partners are external and independent, one only assumes that they diligently manage their own disaster response plans. Think again. In this case, you can reasonably expect the adage about assumptions to prove true. Remember, it is your company alone you’re trying to protect. Any breach or failure to respond to the shortcomings of your vendors stands in between you and the goal of protecting your company.
Your vendors, not excluding your small business computer support services, are vital to your operation. Failure to own your external partner’s less than adequate business continuity response plan means that you are ineffectively addressing your own. It’s crucial that you work closely with your vendors, to the best of your ability, to understand their capacity to rebound in the face of a disaster. Will they keep supplying your products and services after the bottom falls out? And if so, how? It is similarly no less important to develop a plan of action should one of your vendors fails. Keep in mind, the chance of this happening is as great as 25 percent, possibly higher depending on the nature of your business.
2. Situational response
Business continuity management plans are dense, information pact documents that, at times, can be convoluted. The larger the organization, the more complex business continuity plans are. Given the sheer volume of material contained within an official BC document, its authors must develop it in such a way that reflects situational relevancy. Disasters happen with little notice, so your BCP must be immediately useful at the time of the incidence.
As opposed to thumbing through a piecemeal and disorganized binder, your team should access the information they need quickly. Ease of access ensures that they respond to the appropriate events as they happen in real-time. Consider segmenting the document according to disaster/disruption type. Or, alternately, start with disruptions to your computer IT services before organizing the subsequent sections around mass reductions in staff and loss of vendor services.
3. Decision support
Once you’re comfortable with your situational analysis, it’s time to focus on your BCP’s elements of decisional support. Does the plan provide a clear step guide for a fluid, logical, and swift response? Most typical business continuity binders don’t aid in the decision-making process. Business continuity software provided by small business computer support companies may help. But the proper action steps should be listed in writing, as well.
If you decide to use BC software, ensure that it always addresses these three key factors:
- Overall Impact
- Decision Response
- Relevant Staff
- PCH Technologies
Are you wondering if business continuity software can add value to your business? PCH Technologies can demonstrate how a revitalized business continuity management strategy will set your company apart from the competition.
Schedule a quick discovery call by dialing 844-754 -7500 now. A dedicated PCH Client Relationship Manager will help establish any mutual benefits to forming a managed partnership to handle all your critical IT and cybersecurity needs.