BCM (business continuity management) is the process of planning for any disruptive incidents. It involves identifying potential threats to your organisation and analysing their impact on its day-to-day operations.
Effective BCM ensures the business can provide a minimum acceptable service in the event of a disaster, and helps preserve corporate reputation, image and revenue.
How does BCM work?
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 management system in place, a disruption isn’t only a major hassle and a source for reputational damage; it could also lead to extensive delays that may well cause irreparable financial damage.
A business continuity management system ensures that 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.
Read our free business continuity guide
You can find out more about preparing your organisation for disruption by reading our free green paper: Business Continuity and ISO 22301 – An introduction.
It helps you understand:
- The benefits of business continuity management;
- How business continuity differs from disaster recovery;
- How a BCMS (business continuity management system) works; and
- How the international standard for business continuity management, ISO 22301, can support your implementation project.
The benefits of business continuity management
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.
- Help you meet regulatory requirements
A growing body of legislation requires businesses in essential areas to implement effective business continuity arrangements.
Globally, corporate governance regulations require directors to “exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence” to mitigate risks facing the organisation.
Organisations operating in critical infrastructure industries will soon be required to implement incident response capabilities in line with the requirements of the EU’s Directive on security of network and information systems (NIS Directive).
Implementing effective BCM is the best-practice approach to effectively manage business interruptions and incidents, and to meet the Directive’s requirements.
The current cyber threat landscape has made business leaders more aware of the risks of cyber attacks, and the importance of being able to respond to and recover from such attacks.
Become a business continuity expert
Before you implement a business continuity plan, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with ISO 22301, the international standard that describes business continuity best practice.
Our Certified ISO 22301 BCMS Foundation Live Online Training Course can teach you everything you need to know about the standard.
This one-day course will help you gain an in-depth understanding business continuity and how to develop a plan tailored to your organisation. It includes guidance on the business impact analysis and risk assessment process, incident response and how to put your plan into practice.
Because it’s delivered remotely, you can fit this course around your lifestyle and study from the safety and comfort of your own home.
Book this course today to get your free Coronavirus BCM Bundle worth €163. Plus, save 25% when you book an April training date.
A version of this blog was originally published on 30 October 2018.