Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is a process of identifying a company’s threat exposure from a multitude of angles, processes, including hard and soft asset availability during an incident. These angles all fit into two separate overlying categories: Internal threats and External threats. The word ‘threat’ has become synonymous with anything that could impede or stop the flow of regular business. It’s the threat that business will no longer continue to run, processes will not be able to be completed, and customers will not be able to use your products or services, at some level for some length of time.
There are also two fundamental categories that need to be addressed for a BCP to be truly effective; Disaster Recovery Planning and Business Resumption Planning. Many have thought that these two stood alone or were one in the same and that BCP was just another way of saying the same thing. Well I’m here to tell them that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
In layman’s terms, a BCP is the process of working out how to stay in business in the event of a disaster. The problem with this ‘disaster’ is that there is no plan to resume business if it does indeed cease operations for a time. This is effectively why business owners need to plan on how to recover from the disaster itself, as well as resume normal operations in direct result of that disaster. Of course, along with this planning comes disaster prevention, or ‘resiliency planning’ as well.
All of this is summed up again, by keeping business continuity in check, from all possible angles, departments, outside and inside influences; technology and human based, and those we cannot control whatsoever – acts of God.
In the coming weeks I will go over the 6 Phases of a BCP, challenges and some best practices, to help shed light on this ever-growing necessity for every business. Yes, EVERY business. There are varying levels of BCP for small, medium and large businesses – even those single employee start-ups.
Tune in for more….