Troy Cheeseman Addresses all the “What Ifs” of Business Continuity Planning in Know Tech Talk Interview

Barb Paluszkiewicz of Know Tech Talk recently had a chat with Troy Cheeseman, CSO of CloudOak, about the importance of a business continuity plan (BCP) considering all the ‘what if’ scenarios such as fires, floods, employee accidents, sabotage, power interruptions, environmental disasters, pollution, hazardous materials spills, or cybercrime attacks. Cheeseman further detailed what you need to do to recover after high impact low probability events that occur in business.

The reality is that there is no real advance notice that a disaster is ready to strike. Even with some lead time, things can go wrong as every incident is unique and unfolds in unexpected ways. That is why a BCP is crucial to ensure your business continues operating during an unplanned event. Creating and maintaining a BCP helps ensure that an organization has the necessary resources and information to face these incidents. Let’s call it the “keep calm and carry on document!”

Troy is currently showcasing CloudOak’s new business continuity product, Plan4Continuity, a live system that contains plans, simulation schedules, and audit logs of all activations across Canada and North America.  As he points out, traditionally, BCPs were a manual, arduous, document-based process, created in conjunction with a consultant, with the end result often being a 60-page binder sitting on someone’s desk and when disaster strikes no-one is really certain where to start and who to call.

For this very reason, CloudOak developed and brought a product to the market that automates this whole process – Plan4Continuity now condenses the process of creating, activating, reporting and simulating BCPs into one cloud-based application.

What does Plan4Continuity include?

Cheeseman explains that the initial step is template-driven just to get every company started. But once you have established the plan, you can add to or copy the plan in the event that you have, for example, multiple locations. Ultimately all the elements that are required for a proper BCP are included in Plan4Continuity. What is more – and few people realize this – there is a specific ISO standard that BCPs must adhere to: ISO 22301. Plan4Continuity was created around this standard so every plan created by it adheres to this standard. It also covers the 5 most important elements of continuity planning namely: people, assets, services, locations, and vendors/suppliers.

Plan4Continuity, although a technology-based tool, coordinates operational aspects – for example, should a disaster strike it notifies all role-players inside and outside the business either via text (in the event of a power failure) or email.  In charge of this process will, of course, be a person that understands this process and operations. However, this person needs no BCP skillset as this is included in the software. Because Plan4Continuity if focused on continuity and not only continuity after a disaster strikes, it can also be sensationalized for an even such as moving to a new location.

Business continuity planning was traditionally a complex, time-consuming task and it was easy to adopt the attitude that it will never happen to you. With Plan4Continuity, planning for business disruptions become simple and automated. Plan4Continuity makes it possible for businesses of all sizes to have state-of-the-art BCPS.  

You can listen to the talk here.

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