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06.03.15 | blog

What Value Does a Business Continuity Plan Hold for Your Company?

Disasters are devastating. Whether it ravages an entire landscape, shuts down power in a confined area, or infects your computer systems to hinder daily work, these events can cause upheaval in business operations. Such disruptions in the flow of daily life can make or break your customers’ perception of your service, and drive your market share down. So, how do you hold on to your share of the market and promoting brand growth? The key is to prepare for and anticipate the unexpected. Because, with the average cost of downtime costing $336,000 per hour, having a business continuity plan in place is cost efficient.

Just as many drivers convince themselves that they will not get into a car accident from texting and driving, many companies similarly hold an “it will not happen to us” mentality. Until it does happen to those companies and drivers. A driver’s business continuity plan is simple- don’t text and you won’t cause an accident. However, for companies a business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan is a little more complex. “A 6% survival rate following severe data loss and average total cost of $10.8 million are undeniably ominous numbers." Thus, it is vital to the longevity of your brand to hold a “better safe than sorry” approach and develop, manage and execute a BCDR plan.

Your business continuity plan should strive to ensure that your company operates as close to normal as possible, despite the surrounding circumstances. To achieve this successfully, your plan should address the following points during a time of crisis:
• How will workers communicate?
• How will customers communicate?
• How will workers continue doing work?
• How will operations remain resilient with little downtime?

Once your plan is developed, it is crucial that it undergoes testing and evaluation prior to its actual implementation in a disaster situation. If the plan is not thoroughly tested beforehand, small details can often be overlooked, which can create larger problems in an actual crisis.

Many companies are turning towards outsourcing to cope with disasters and minimize the impacts to their operations. Off-site data storage, virtual workstations, and remote customer service ensure secure settings, driving business continuity when the brick and mortar facilities are in an affected area. This can also be a useful method for displaced workers to continue their daily routines.

A great way to capture the benefits of a business continuity plan is to characterize disaster impacts into dollars. This requires consideration of current documentation, while also conducting in-depth analyses to determine potential financial losses. Helping senior management to see the value in the development of a business continuity plan is important in guaranteeing that it is comprehensively designed. Detailing impacts to the business in terms of numbers can relay that this plan is about risk avoidance, and will gain the support of stakeholders in the company quickly.

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