What is business continuity and why is it so important?

The ever-present threat of cyber crime and organisations’ increasing reliance on technology means that business disruptions are inevitable these days. Any day now, your systems could be breached or your physical premises disrupted by criminals, inattentive employees or damaged infrastructure. 

When that day comes, you can’t afford to be caught unaware. And that means implementing and maintaining a BCMS (business continuity management system)

What is business continuity management? 

Business continuity management is essentially a form of insurance. It gives organisations the comfort of knowing that, even if disaster strikes, it won’t be devastating. Without a BCMS, a disruption isn’t only a major hassle and a source for reputational damage; it could also lead to extensive delays that may well ultimately doom an organisation to failure. 

Implementing a BCMS ensures this won’t happen. It’s a comprehensive approach to organisational resilience that enables organisations to update, control and deploy effective plans, accounting for organisational contingencies and capabilities, as well as business needs. 

A BCMS can also be tailored to help organisations prepare for any number of disruptions, including: 

Natural disasters: e.g. earthquakes, hurricanes, snowstorms or heavy wind. 

Man-made disasters: e.g. road and rail disruptions or oil spills. 

Technological failures: e.g. a crashed system or corrupted files. 

Human error: e.g. data exposure or a lost USB. 

Infrastructural damage: e.g. a burst pipe, electrical fire or power cut. 

Sabotage: e.g. stolen files or deliberately corrupted files/systems. 

Cyber attacks: e.g. ransomware or phishing attacks.  

Benefits of business continuity 

The main reason to implement a BCMS is to ensure that your business processes remain operational in the event of a disruption, even if there is a disruption. However, there are plenty of other reasons to adopt the system. For example, it will: 

Protect your organisation’s reputation

The public will almost certainly be impressed if you can respond quickly and efficiently following a disruption. This will mitigate any negative sentiments that will accompany the loss of productivity. 

Boost employees’ morale: 

If the system is well managed, everyone in the organisation will be accounted for, which will prove to employees that management has considered their needs.  

Build your relationship with third parties and subsidiaries: 

An effective BCMS demonstrates that the organisation is being run well from top to bottom, which will encourage anyone that you work with. It shows that you are a reliable partner that has taken into account its responsibilities to customers, employees and partners.  

Implementing a BCMS 

ISO 22301 describes the best practices for a BCMS. Following the guidelines outlined in the international standard ensures that your BCMS is created and maintained as effectively as possible. 

You can find out how to implement a BCMS in line with the Standard’s requirements by reading our free green paper: Business Continuity Management – The nine-step approach

Those who are ready to begin their implementation project should take a look at our Complete ISO22301 (BCMS) Toolkit Suite

This package contains template documents for everything you need to achieve ISO 22301 compliance, enabling you to streamline your implementation project and save money.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.