Without proper planning, a natural or man-made, disaster could threaten your organization’s ability to continue its operations. An effective business continuity plan can help identify and reduce those risks.

A proactive approach to disaster management

Business continuity can help your business effectively prepare for and recover from an unforeseen crisis. Typical stages of the business continuity planning process include:

  • Program initiation
  • Operation analysis
  • Recovery strategy determination
  • Plan development
  • Testing and training

A business continuity plan doesn’t simply help ensure recovery from a major disaster such as a fire or flood—it also helps ensure mission-critical operations will continue every day. Threats such as computer and telecommunications failures, employee sabotage, power outages, terrorism and computer crime can also jeopardize normal operations.

Benefits of an effective business continuity plan

Preparing a workable business continuity planning (BCP) program allows your organization to:

  • Identify risks before a disaster occurs, and determine and enact risk mitigation measures
  • Ensure organizational stability
  • Protect your employees, customers, and assets
  • Provide for an orderly recovery
  • Reduce reliance on key personnel
  • Reduce potential legal liability
  • Minimize potential economic loss to the enterprise and stockholders
  • Minimize decision-making time during a disaster event
  • Minimize disruptions to operations
  • Comply with statutory and regulatory requirements

Assessing your plan

Objectively assessing your level of disaster preparedness and identifying critical gaps can be difficult. Focus on best practices, regulatory requirements and standards will help you assess the maturity level of your existing BCP program, and implement improvements moving forward. Specific items of focus:

  • Compatibility of your disaster risk assessment and business impact analysis with your recovery strategies
  • Clarity of organizational structure and recovery position responsibilities
  • Functionality and usability of the plan documentation
  • Relationship to your normal business operations
  • Clarity and completeness of restoration and resumption process
  • Testing, maintenance and revision practices
  • Integration with emergency response and incident management processes
  • Coordination with the local authorities and emergency responders
  • Communication with employees, vendors, and customers
  • Coverage of centralized and departmental computing and data network elements

Preparedness through testing

Testing the plan is essential. Having tests that are rigorous, realistic and promote preparedness improvement is challenging. We develop practical testing scenarios that emphasize the most critical aspects of a complete recovery.

To find out more about this or other ways that RSM can assist you with your business needs, contact RSM’s management consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.

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