What is a Business Continuity Plan?
When disaster strikes, there is rarely any warning. Every second counts when you are responding to an emergency or crisis. In order to weather a critical incident and reduce the impact on a business, every organization should prepare a Business Continuity Plan to ensure that the contingencies are in place to help reduce the severity of an incident and minimize any damage to reputation, revenue and productivity.
A Business Continuity Plan aims to keep operations moving in the event of a critical incident or emergency by establishing a set of procedures and tools to be used. It also maps out how a company can maintain business operations and quickly get back to running at full capacity after a major disruption.
Five Steps to Creating A Business Continuity Plan
- Start by brainstorming what might happen.
Business continuity is not a checklist; it’s a process. Envisioning what could happen is vital to being able to assess the risks and develop mitigation strategies. Start by looking at your operational workflows and deciding which areas are the most vulnerable. Make sure to understand what the potential losses are and how long systems could be down without causing too much damage.
- Get Buy-in
Once you have your plan mapped out, it’s time to get your managers and employees involved. It’s vital that they understand that your business continuity plan is a rapid response plan, and it is an investment you hope you never have to use. But if you didn’t have one and an incident strikes and you’re not prepared, the consequences would be even greater. Make sure everyone understands each phase of the plan before moving on to the next stage.
Once you have documented your business continuity plan and rolled it out to your internal stakeholders, you will need to test it through drills and practice. This is the best way to spot unexpected issues and gaps. You should aim to test your plan at least once every three months to ensure it continues to meet its intended purpose.
- Utilize mobile tools within your plan.
Nearly all employees, if not all, have mobile devices with them at work. Often, they are using them within their daily operations. By using mobile messaging to send critical alerts throughout your plan – to launch, track and send broadcast alerts – you ensure that information is received by everyone quickly. Using a tool like RapidAlert allows you to preset templates for the different scenarios you identified, and preset contact lists to receive the incident-specific messages. It also allows you to send different messages to different groups based on region, role or department.
- Automate as much as possible
Manual processes slow down or stop during a crisis. By automating much of your Business Continuity Plan, you can automatically alert the pre-defined contacts you established in your plan so that the right messages get to the right people. The RapidAlert tool allows you to automatically request a response and automate escalation if no response has been received after three attempts. You should also automate alerts to first responders as well as automating errors from IT systems to alert engineers that a remedy is immediately required. Failover, recover and restore procedures should be automated as well.
About Soprano: Soprano Design is an award-winning provider of CPaaS solutions, delivering trusted mobile interactions to enterprises around the globe. Soprano Connect, our powerful cloud-based enterprise platform, integrates IP, SMS, MMS and voice, allowing you to provide a seamless, scalable and secure user experience.