What is a Business Continuity Plan, and Why Do I Need One?

June 23rd, 2017 by Rocket IT

Between natural catastrophes, unfortunate accidents, and cybersecurity threats, it’s not a question of if something will happen to your organization, but when.

Does your organization have a business continuity plan in place? Do you know how your team will respond?

A business continuity plan is a documented strategy outlining the steps and processes to ensure your business operations continue to run should disaster strike. In case of significant data loss or even loss of leadership, this plan gives your organization the support and tools it needs to recover.

How do you know if you need one?

If you have a business, then you need a business continuity plan. When calamity hits, you don’t want to scramble around trying to decide how to handle it. The more time you spend choosing an action path and reacting, the more downtime your organization is going to have. And with the average cost for end-user productivity downtime at over $740k in 2016 (and rising), the less downtime you have, the better.[i]

Who needs to be involved?

Typically, your leadership team, IT, and head of Accounting/HR should be included in the creation and execution of your business continuity plan. Their roles need to be defined in the documentation of the plan so everyone knows who the point person is on each task. This way your team won’t be stumped on who should be doing what and who has the authority to approve decisions.

You should also clearly define who has final authority should you or others not be available and able to carry out a leadership role. In some cases, this may mean that you need to legally name someone who can make important choices in your absence.

Do I need to test it?

Yes. You need to test it. You’re not going to be simulate perfectly an unexpected event (thus is the nature of unexpected events), but you can make sure your team is familiar with it and there aren’t any preventable kinks in the process.

Think about it this way – If you built an emergency bunker (not that you should need one for your business continuity plan!), you would want to test that your ventilation sources were functioning properly and any radio equipment you had functioned while the bunker was sealed. Testing your plan won’t go exactly the same way as it will in true action, but you’ll see what parts work well and what others need some improvement.

Should anything happen to your organization’s data, systems, or even to a member of its leadership, a business continuity and disaster recovery plan will help ensure that the organization will be able to recuperate and continue thriving, enabling you to build a legacy to last.

If you’d like strategic insight on security vulnerabilities and expert advice on how to build your own business continuity plan, contact us. We’d love to help you.

 


[i] http://files.server-rack-online.com/2016-Cost-of-Data-Center-Outages.pdf

 

About the Author-

Eric Henderson is Rocket IT’s virtual Chief Information Officer. He is also the tallest person at Rocket IT (by a fraction of an inch).

 

The average cost of unplanned downtime per minute in 2016 was nearly $9,000 per incident.

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