In fact, Mercer discovered that 51% of organizations throughout the world have no business continuity strategy in place to deal with the approaching pandemic in early March 2020 (pre-lockdowns).
Without business continuity planning, companies now put themselves at a disadvantage – and danger.
But what is business continuity planning (BCP) in the first place?
What is the purpose of it?
What role does the board play in guaranteeing the business’s resilience during a crisis?
WHAT IS BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING (BCP) AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
Company Continuity Planning (BCP) is a framework for protecting and sustaining business functions in the event of a disaster (natural or man-made, e.g. pandemic, cybersecurity breaches, etc.) It aims to guarantee that businesses can avoid, respond to, and recover from business interruptions.
WHERE DO BCP AND DISASTER RECOVERY PLANNING DIFFER?
Business continuity is ensured by disaster recovery planning that focuses on data and technology accessibility, infrastructure, and system recovery. BCP, on the other hand, focuses on all aspects of the business that are required to keep it running.
Disaster recovery planning, in simple words, is a subset of business continuity planning.
It is vital to remember, however, that these two strategies are intertwined and must be regarded as a whole.
Disaster recovery is required for business continuation. Business continuity cannot be guaranteed in the event of a disaster.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING?
1. Reduce the risk of financial, operational, and reputational harm.
Business interruptions can have a negative impact on an organization’s capacity to function efficiently and supply goods and services to consumers. These have the potential to have a substantial influence on the company’s bottom line.
However, the reputational harm that can be caused by an organization’s failure to absorb shock and fulfill contractual/legal commitments is frequently neglected (or comply with regulatory requirements). In the long run, this can be just as destructive to the company, especially if it is trying to safeguard shareholder value.
2. Assist in the recovery of corporate activities and/or IT services.
BCP creates a well-thought-out and well-measured strategy to reduce the time it takes to recover and restore operations. Preparation is essential: a well-tested business continuity strategy also reduces the chances of being caught off guard owing to insufficient impact evaluations.
3. Ensure the safety of personnel as well as other important business assets and procedures.
Throughout the crisis, BCP considers employee wellbeing as well as the security of other critical assets and procedures.
BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING HAS BENEFITS
1. Increased robustness and survival after a disruption
BCP enhances the chance of resiliency and continuity after catastrophes or disasters, similar to what was stated in the previous section. It combines pragmatic necessities for keeping the firm running with a strategic framework that will lead to long-term success.
2. Understanding and familiarity with mission-critical business procedures
BCP necessitates identifying and analyzing processes and assets that the company can or cannot operate without. As a consequence, you’ll have a better grasp of the company and the environment in which it works.
3. A competitive edge
In times of general uncertainty, a successful BCP can give an organization a competitive edge, especially if rivals are struggling to survive a shock. Companies are more adapted to weather change and restart operations when others may not. By covering all bases during the planning phase, firms are better prepared to weather change and resume operations when others may not.