Your Business Continuity Strategy – where are you at?

What do you do when disaster strikes? Your Business Continuity Strategy tells you exactly what the plan is. So how far have you gotten with yours?

In a world where cyber attacks are increasingly common – and events like economy-shattering global pandemics aren’t exactly unheard-of – every organisation needs a Business Continuity Plan.

If you need more motivation to get yours in place, here are the other reasons why continuity and contingency planning should get pushed up your to-do list:

What is a Business Continuity Strategy?

A Business Continuity Strategy is your organisation’s plan for how to keep doing business when things go catastrophically wrong. We’re talking pandemics, natural disasters, large human errors and – increasingly common in modern times – cyber attacks.

Your strategy for what to do when these things happen should ideally be fully thought-through and laid out in a document commonly referred to as a Business Continuity Plan.

Although they’re often focused on recovery, these plans also include mitigations and strategies for planning for these events and minimising their risks.

The first stage of creating one of these plans is to list the scenarios that would seriously imperil your ability to continue operating your business normally. You then create a set of guidelines that explain to anyone reading how you will keep your key processes running.

Why is a Business Continuity Plan important?

Understanding potential threats ensures you understand your weaknesses and aren’t taken by surprise if and when something does go wrong.

The overriding goal is to ensure you and your team don’t need to spend time considering what to do in the event of a crisis. You have a plan already set and ready to go.

A good Business Continuity Strategy means you get to:

1) Minimise downtime

Most of the initial damage in a crisis is caused by enforced downtime. Let’s take the (surely barely realistic) example of a global pandemic that causes governments to insist everyone should work from home. What did you do?

Organisations with a good Business Continuity Plan might have already ensured they had remote working policies in place. Their cybersecurity was where it needed to be. They were using the right collaboration tools (Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace). They experienced minimal downtime.

Others were scrambling for solutions. No one in the business knew what was happening. Communications were scatty. Staff were using their own laptops, creating huge cybersecurity holes. Customers went without service or responses to their emails. It wasn’t a fun time.

A good Business Continuity Strategy means you get to be in the “good” camp.

2) Safeguard your brand reputation

In the longer term, the damage these events cause is to your brand reputation as well as your bottom line.

This is one of the reasons why organisations that – for instance – suffer major cyberattacks are quick to put out press releases detailing what happened and what they’ve done about it. Protecting their reputation is a key part of their “disaster response” or Business Continuity Strategy.

If you are able to continue operating with minimal disruption even if something goes horribly wrong, your reputation won’t be damaged.

3) Keep your team positive and together

One of the worst immediate outcomes of a disaster is seeing your team fall apart.

When you have a good business disaster plan in place though, your team will know exactly what to do. Plus, if they know these plans exist, they feel reassured that they have been considered individually and will have the confidence to know what to do.

4) Reassure partners

A Business Continuity Strategy is a strong signal to all parties that you can be relied on to uphold your agreements and responsibilities even if something goes wrong.

Stakeholders of all kinds, investors, partners, and more will be reassured that you have planned for all of the likely (and even some less likely) scenarios that would disrupt a lesser business. Many investors insist on seeing this kind of thing before they commit funds.

5) Meet regulatory requirements

Cyber attacks are constantly on the rise. For good reasons, the UK government will continue to expand the regulatory demands on businesses to show they have put sensible cybersecurity precautions in place.

Part of these precautions is to have a strategy in place for mitigations as well as what to do when things will go wrong. Check out the Cyber Essentials scheme and others for details.

For businesses that regularly retain their clients’ sensitive data – this could include everything from recruitment companies to healthcare organisations – the requirements are even more stringent.

Continuity planning is good practice for all the reasons above. But it will also protect you from any legal action that may transpire following a disaster like a data breach.

Finish your Business Continuity Strategy today

Picture the scene. You arrive at work one morning. You sit at your desk, turn on your computer. But you can’t access any apps or programs. Not even your email. There’s a strange extra log-in screen demanding a password you don’t have – and money for removing it.

You’ve been the victim of a ransomware attack. The same thing has happened to everyone else in your company. No one can do any work. What do you do?

It’s scenarios like this that Dial A Geek can help you plan for, prevent, and recover from. Just as we already have for nearly 1000 businesses in Bristol and across the UK.

Set up a FREE, no-obligation chat with Chief Geek Gildas Jones today to talk through your Business Continuity Strategy and see how easy preparing for the worst can be.