If you answered NO to the above question, you are not alone and you are one of the many businesses that do not have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP). Even companies that have a BCP, do not periodically update it or verify its accuracy, leading to an outdated and ineffective plan.
This is a sad but true fact. Building an effective, real-saver BCP is time consuming. However, the most basic BCP is definitely a better alternative to having none.
Minimally, a BCP binder should be compiled. It will include the company employees’ names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers. In the same binder, you can include vital business information, such as a copy of the phone bill showing the company phone numbers and a copy of the company’s insurance policy.
In addition, think about including an easy step-by-step plan of action that will help the business quickly restore its activities in order of importance and within the required timelines. For example, think about the first thing you would do, if your main office becomes unusable for whatever reason. It would most likely be to forward you company’s phone and fax lines to an alternate number so that communication with your clients and vendors is not disrupted and is immediately restored.
Another important element you might want to consider is where you store your back-up files. If these are stored off site, which is highly recommended, a step-by-step procedure detailing how the data will be restored is required. This includes:
- Purchasing hardware (specifications),
- Making a decision as to where the hardware setup location would be (alternate recovery site),
- Identifying those employees who make up the recovery team, and
- Determining the channel of communications to be used under such circumstances (personal phones, pagers and emails) etc.
And remember, these are just few examples of the things you need to consider when planning a BCP.
If you are seriously considering the development of BCP, you will want to ensure that all your business elements and processes are included in the BCP.
You might also think that you will not be able to engage in this daunting task by yourself. And you are right. A sound business recovery process involves the coordinated efforts of different aspects of Information Technology (IT) and Information Management (IM). It is important that your consultation with any IT expert ensures your BCP is not only sound and viable, but also largely based on your BCP goals. To setup an IT consultation about developing and deploying your BCP, please give us a call and we’ll be happy to assist you.