Business Continuity Planning Process Diagram - Text VersionWhen business is disrupted, it can cost money. Business Continuity planning is an essential part of running any modern organization that takes its business and its clients seriously. There is a multiplicity of benefits in planning for Business Continuity within your organization. Without this type of preparation any unexpected event can severely disrupt the operation, continuity, and effectiveness of your business. Thus, putting business continuity plans into practice in your organization now can prepare your business for most any potential disaster, help ensure that you will be able to maintain continuity of your business practices, and reduce or even possibly remove the effect such calamities could have on your organization. If not already, your organization my soon be required to incorporate some type of Business Continuity Management planning into its policies by either corporate governance or governmental legislation.
With an effective and practiced Business Continuity plan, your insurance company may well view you more favorably should some sort of disaster ever require you to call upon their services.
In creating a Business Continuity plan, the process of evaluating potential weakness and planning how to deal with what could possibly go wrong often offers management the chance to gain a better understanding of the minutia of their business and ultimately helps an organization identify ways to strengthen any short comings.
Business Continuity plan will show your investors that you take business seriously, that you are prepared and desire to maintain productivity regardless of difficulty. Informing your customers that you have a Business Continuity plan, that you have taken steps to ensure continuity of your productivity so that you can keep your commitments to them, lets them know that you consider the provision of quality service a high priority which in turns instills their confidence in your business.
And finally, a Business continuity plan can significantly reduce your loses if ever you are hit by disaster.
By working with our experienced and certified Business Continuity Management Systems (BCMS) consultants, your organisation has an opportunity to plan for adverse events, evaluate and rectify weaknesses, gain a better understanding of the business and ultimately improve their ability to respond to disasters.

PetroSA, South Africa's National Oil Company, is reorganizing its business in order to enhance operational efficiencies in the midst of challenging market conditions, to ensure its survival and sustainability.
The Business Continuity Institute has published what it believes to be the most comprehensive list of legislation, regulations, standards and guidelines in the field of business continuity management. Business Continuity planning can often create awareness of useful ways to improve an organization, sometimes even in areas that had previously gone unconsidered. With so many potential business disasters looming that can befall an organization at any time, it seems unwise not to take actions to prepare for and try to prevent the devastating impact of such catastrophes. For example, unexpected non-availability of key workers alone could be catastrophic, potentially causing as much disruption to business continuity as technological hardship, especially if it occurs during the height of the company's busy season. It can strengthen your organization not only against large-scale problems it can also help make smaller problems that might have caused continuity interruptions to become moot, through detailed planning. Our business continuity management services are based on the principles of the ISO 22301 standard, the internationally accepted standard for business and IT continuity.
Legislation, regulations, standards and guidelines are being created and revised all the time and it is sometimes difficult to understand which ones are applicable to you.
In addition, employees will be informed and rehearsed as to what actions to take to immediately start the recovery process and ensure business continuity if disaster strikes.
By achieving certification to the ISO 22301 standard, an organisation is able to demonstrate to its stakeholders such as its board, customers, government, and industry regulators that its business continuity management system complies with international best practices and that it has a proven capability to manage disruptions. Therefore, recovery strategies for information technology should be developed so technology can be restored in time to meet the needs of the business.
The worksheet should be completed by business function and process managers with sufficient knowledge of the business.

Once all worksheets are completed, the worksheets can be tabulated to summarize:the operational and financial impacts resulting from the loss of individual business functions and processthe point in time when loss of a function or process would result in the identified business impactsThose functions or processes with the highest potential operational and financial impacts become priorities for restoration. The Business Continuity Resource Requirements worksheet should be completed by business function and process managers.
Completed worksheets are used to determine the resource requirements for recovery strategies.Following an incident that disrupts business operations, resources will be needed to carry out recovery strategies and to restore normal business operations. Meetings with individual managers should be held to clarify information and obtain missing information.After all worksheets have been completed and validated, the priorities for restoration of business processes should be identified.
This information will be used to develop recovery strategies.Recovery StrategiesIf a facility is damaged, production machinery breaks down, a supplier fails to deliver or information technology is disrupted, business is impacted and the financial losses can begin to grow.
Recovery strategies are alternate means to restore business operations to a minimum acceptable level following a business disruption and are prioritized by the recovery time objectives (RTO) developed during the business impact analysis.Recovery strategies require resources including people, facilities, equipment, materials and information technology. Staff with in-depth knowledge of business functions and processes are in the best position to determine what will work.
Equipping converted space with furnishings, equipment, power, connectivity and other resources would be required to meet the needs of workers.Partnership or reciprocal agreements can be arranged with other businesses or organizations that can support each other in the event of a disaster. Periodic review of the agreement is needed to determine if there is a change in the ability of each party to support the other.There are many vendors that support business continuity and information technology recovery strategies. External suppliers can provide a full business environment including office space and live data centers ready to be occupied.

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