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When creating a business continuity plan, there are a number of main points that your business should consider, including:
IT service continuity – It is important to take into consideration all IT systems and processes (both hardware and software) that are key to the day-to-day functionality of your business and plan for how a disaster may affect these and what substitutes could temporarily be put in place. You should also think about a longer-term back up option in case temporary substitutes aren’t good enough or can’t be used.
People – Stakeholders must be considered when creating a business continuity plan. First and foremost, how will employees be affected in the event of a disaster? If your premises cannot be used, it’s ideal to have a recovery location so that your business can continue running and your employees can continue working. If you cannot relocate your business, will you pay or compensate your employees for the temporary loss of work? Make a decision ahead of time about what will happen to your stakeholders and, more specifically, your employees, in the case of a disaster. This way it can be included in the plan and everyone is aware of what will happen if disaster strikes.
Suppliers – In terms of suppliers, who will you need to contact in the case of a disaster? Depending on what area is affected, you will need to contact the different suppliers of services to your business, as they may be able to help resolve the problem or put in place measures to stop the disaster from worsening. For example, if there was total loss of internet connection that could not be fixed in-house, you would need to contact the internet supplier and discuss the issue with them in order to resolve it. In your plan, be sure to include a list of important suppliers and their contact information so you know exactly where to find it at short notice.
Location – Some disasters, a fire or flood for example, may leave your business without usable premises. If this was to happen, where would you go? Consider what you would do if you no longer had a place to work. Many small business could temporarily have their employees work remotely but, for some, this isn’t feasible, so alternative premises need to be found – often at very late notice. This is why it’s a good idea to consider having a workplace recovery solution as part of your business continuity plan.
Exercise/Training – When creating your plan, it’s essential to test it so everyone involved knows what to do if a disaster should occur. It can also help determine whether any changes need to be made or information needs to be added in order to make the process run more smoothly. It is great to have a really well thought out plan but, if no one knows or understands how to execute it, there could be a potential loss of valuable time, resources and money.
If your company needs help to review its business and create a plan, NetSupport BC can help.