Business continuity involves taking responsibility for the business and ensuring that it stays on course irrespective of what is happening. Business continuity involves the practices that describe the preparation of the organization for unforeseen risks to continued operations. Business continuity is the process and the procedures that an organization should put in place so as to ensure that the critical functions can continue after and during a disaster. With business continuity, it is about the organization making proactive and reactive plans so as to help the organization avoid disaster and crises and also be able to return quickly to business in case the disaster occurs.
Business continuity strategies
Business continuity tends to address comprehensive planning that usually focuses on long-term or the chronic challenges to the organizational success. The potential business continuity problems can include the departure of the key team members, illness of key team members, catastrophic failures, supply chain breakdown, or the critical malware functions. Business continuity involves the organization making proactive and reactive plans so as to help avoid disaster or crises. The proactive measures aim at preventing interruption to the organization activities. Good business continuity management should involve the identification and implementation of measures so as to prevent operational interruptions from taking place and prevent disasters from occurring. Business continuity involves keeping the organization operating at its maximum capability (Swartz et al. 2002). The reactive measures focus on the recovery from interruptions to the organizational activities. In business continuity, there should be plans that will be taken in case of the proactive measures in place fail. The reactive measures tend to enable the organization to go back to the acceptable level of operations within the desired timescale after a disaster or an interruption.
In business continuity, it involves the measures, plans, and arrangements that will ensure the continuous delivery of the critical services that permits the organization to recover its data, assets, and facility (Myers, 2006). It also involves the identification of the essential resources so as to support business continuity that includes equipment, information, legal counsel, financial allocations, personnel, and infrastructure protection. Business continuity is essential as it ensures that the organization can enhance its image with employees, customers, and shareholders through demonstrating a proactive attitude. The business continuity strategy involves having a detailed recovery and response plans and arrangements that will ensure continuity (Swartz et al. 2002).
Strategies involved in business continuity include a crisis management plan, crisis communication plan, business recovery plan, disaster recovery, and incident management plan. In crisis management, there should be a set of procedures that will assist the management tasked with responding to events with the objective of stabilizing the situation and also preparation for recovery. In business continuity, there is also need for a crisis communication plan that will outline the external and internal communication strategy of the organization (Swartz et al. 2002). Another measure of business continuity is the business recovery plan which involves a series of business functions focused on the recovery of the critical business processes. There is also disaster recovery that involves technology-specific procedural documents that are designed so as to enable a recovered state. Disaster recovery is a significant measure of business continuity as it involves steps to take so as to resume the operations in the aftermath of a disaster (Myers, 2006). So as to make sure the continuity of the business, the steps may include restoring then servers, re-establishing private branch exchanges, or even provisioning the local area networks so as to meet the immediate needs of the business.
Importance of implementing business continuity
The business continuity plans are essential for the continuous and transparent operations of all types of business. Today, the business continuity strategies are becoming of significant importance as the organizations are becoming very reliant on technology in conducting business (Watters & Watters 2014). As the companies have more emphasis on IT and communication services for supporting their customer transactions and communication, they are becoming less tolerant of the information and services loss as the consequence of the disaster. So as to maintain operational continuity, organizations need to consider the implementation of business continuity. Companies need to implement business continuity plans that can range from a major building loss to even a local system failure.
Implementation of business continuity ensures that the organization has a plan for recovery of the major business function. In the case of a disaster, the continued operation of the organization will depend on the ability to replicate the data and IT systems. With the implementation of a disaster recovery plan, the organization will be prepared for a disaster, know how to response in case a disaster occurs, and the steps to take so as to ensure the operations are restored (Watters & Watters 2014). In our current economic climate and the elevated awareness of threats that include cyber terrorists, man-made and natural disasters, and hackers, they have all played a key role in making business continuity an important factor to the top management of companies. Because of the unforeseen events, it is important that companies should maintain operational effectiveness in any situation.
A business continuity plan normally suggests an approach for ensuring that the business is operating after a natural disaster and also in the event of a small disruption. Business continuity is about keeping all the aspects of the business functioning. Hence, the implementation of business continuity is important as it ensures the company follows particular steps so as to help minimize the effects of the disruption. A robust business continuity plan can lead the company successfully through the steps necessary to continue operating (Myers, 2006). The implementation of the business continuity plan includes the communication protocols, the data backup systems, and up-to-date roadmap for dealing with the disaster. Therefore, the implementation of business continuity tends to ensure the future operational capability that leads to the sustainability of the business.
The business failure following the disaster is usually caused by the loss of assets or the inability of supporting the vital business functions. The inability of supporting the critical business functions following a disaster can be very devastating when that information is in the hands of competitors. We are currently faced with tough economic times and a thoughtful approach to implementing business continuity may result in cost savings and also a competitive advantage. Business continuity aims at ensuring that the organization is operating efficiently during the normal times and when faced with a disaster or crises. Therefore, every organization should ensure reliable business continuity in the event there is an unplanned outage. The business managers need to commit to developing responsible continuity plan for minimizing the impact of the disastrous events.
Herbane, B Elliott, D & Swartz, E (2002). Business continuity management. Psychology Press
Myers, K (2006). Business continuity strategies. John Wiley & Sons
Watters, J & Watters, J (2014). Disaster recovery, crisis response, and business continuity. Apress