5 Critical objectives every business continuity solution should have

It is important to identify your business continuity plan objectives when creating a comprehensive business continuity plan. Reducing these objectives into words can guide administrators in respect of what the business continuity plan should accomplish. It can further assist in providing a comprehensive overview of the areas that must be addressed within the plan through the course of creating and maintaining it.  Ultimately, the main goal of your plan is to prepare your business to withstand a disaster scenario and minimize operational downtime if such an event occurs.

1.   Ensure the continuity of operations during a disruptive event or crises

2.   Ensure employee safety during a disruptive events such as the current COVID-19 pandemic

3.   Protect what is important - Ensure continuity of key IT systems

4.   Minimize the impact on customers and suppliers

5. Minimize reputational damage

Nevertheless, as you are compiling your plan you must be as specific as possible. There are likely several specific business continuity plan objectives, which you should include at the beginning of your business continuity plan. Here are 5 objectives we consider critical for every business continuity solution:

1.   Ensure the continuity of operations during a disruptive event or crises  

A vital purpose of creating a business continuity plan is to identify the numerous threats to your operations.  In a further section of your plan, you will outline the different types of disasters that could disrupt the business and include the impact of each scenario. This will include the amount of damage that would be caused, how long the recovery would take, the costs of operational losses etc. This risk assessment will ensure the continuity of your operations should a crisis occur.

2.   Ensure employee safety during a disruptive event such as the current COVID-19 pandemic   

This entails communicating with and notifying employees of the disruptive event, what are required of them and any other information they will need to navigate the crisis. In the current climate this could also include administering prescreening before employees can enter the business premises.

3.   Protect what is important - Ensure continuity of key IT systems        

A business continuity plan should contain the necessary mechanisms and data to keep your business running such as an inventory of backup devices and cloud services. It could also include an outline of when and where your backup will be conducted as well as quarterly checks that identify and review critical systems to ensure the continuity of key IT systems during a disruptive event.

4.  Minimize the impact on customers and suppliers

Once you've identified the core risks to your business operations and continuity, you need to take the necessary steps to protect your business functions against them. The steps could include, for example, installing anti-virus software and having the right maintenance agreements in place.

5.  Minimize reputational damage

Here a crisis communication plan as part of your business continuity strategy will ensure that recovery personnel understand their roles for both internal and external emergency communications. It will also manage key stakeholders’ perceptions to minimize reputational damage and reduce the overall affect of the event on the organization.

A well thought out business communication strategy should aim to reduce the overall impact of a crisis on the organization and address the five points mentioned above. Plan4Continuity makes it possible to automate the complete process of creating, activating, reporting and simulating business continuity plans into a single cloud-based application. It makes provision for natural disasters, ransomware attacks and also includes business process automation services including office relocation, facilities management, IT quarterly checks and key staff absence. This unique SaaS solution can furthermore send automated communication to all users received via email or mobile phones with the option to add your customers, people and services that will be affected.

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