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All these uncertainties are risk factors associated with businesses. The ability of the business owner to ensure the business can continue its operations in spite of the numerous risks at any point in time could determine whether a business would go bankrupt or evolve from the unforeseen instances.
What Is the Business Continuity Plan?A business continuity plan is a document that outlines what actions or measures should be taken should there be a disruption in the form of an associated risk such as fire outbreak, loss of equipment, death of the business owner or a collapsed building. The ability to get back into business despite the disruption is key as customers will continue to demand the products and services being offered and the inability to meet these demands would lead to a huge loss in market share and more efforts to win them back if it takes a longer time for the business to get back on its feet. A business continuity plan is significant in the following ways:
- Availability and Accessibility: A business is sustained and can continue to offer its products and services most especially if they depend on the use of Information Technology (IT) infrastructures such as cloud computing that helps to save and backup all documents online in real-time such as receipts, invoices, purchase orders, bank transactions, log sheets of staff etc. and most especially ability to access documents that can aid the functioning of the human resources, suppliers, procurement, operations and all the different aspects that contributes most to the direct impact the business makes to all stakeholders.
- Uninterrupted operations: The systems that govern the smooth operations of a business and the easier they can be installed immediately after the disruption ensures that operations can continue seamlessly.
- Disaster recovery: A secondary source of ensuring a business can sustain itself back into operations is key when it comes to disaster recovery and its management. Disaster recovery could be the ability to get back from where everything stopped. A website that has experienced cyber-attack and is the major source of engaging customers should have a sub-domain being hosted separately so that getting back live aids the recovery process and minimizes loss.
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Processes For Designing Business Continuity PlanWhile planning to have a holistic document for the business continuity plan, the following metrics are important to ensure a robust design is carried out:
- Business Prioritization: The starting point for planning a business continuity plan is to identify and quantify the risks, threats and vulnerabilities. This should be done across all platforms and departments.
- Adoption Into IT: Take the input from business prioritization and perform an overall business continuity program design. Information Technology gives a competitive advantage when it comes to risk management as it provides the infrastructure to safeguard and ensure easy recovery and accessibility to files saved with the aid of cloud computing. The risks identified from the business prioritization should be adopted into workable IT systems
- Manage: The ability to begin to utilize what has been designed prior to a gap caused by a breach requires discipline to enhance building the capacity of the team to utilize the systems designed effectively by updating files regularly on a routine basis.
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