Business Continuity Planning Failures

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Research attributes only thirteen percent of most companies downtown caused by natural disasters
Downtown time due to other types of incidents, not including natural disasters, is a whopping eighty-seven percent.  Which is quite alarming when the statistics show that every year seventy-five percent of company’s experience outages.  With company’s revenue losses totaling more than $25 billion a year due to IT Outages in America alone.  Yet nearly sixty percent of businesses in the USA have no Disaster Recovery Plan implemented.  The worse fact of all is that more than a quarter of these businesses that close due to downtown never re-open!

A Business Continuity Plan needs to be structured and implemented properly

Most companies put off the planning and implementing a Continuity Plan because it can be quite costly and time-consuming.  So, they adopt the “It will never happen to us” attitude and put it to the back of their mind each day breathing a sigh of relief that it did not happen today!

If a business is going to put the time, money and effort into creating a Continuity Plan they must do so with the utmost commitment and ensure that it is basically an iron-clad one.

There is noway one could ever predict every single threat, disaster, incident or casualty that could occur.  There are just too many variables not to mention it would probably take a lifetime to do so!

But a good place to start is with some company research and a good old Business Impact Analysis and Risk Assessment!

Once they are done it will give the company a better understanding of the core processes, key personnel and acceptable loss levels.  The Risk Assessment covers the potential threats from which is a good grounding to start.

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Some of the common mistakes made by companies with their Continuity Plan are:

  • Not covering all potential threats
    • Has the company consideredthreats and potential risks from within companies, such as employees? Research showed that a high percentage of security breaches came from employees either unintentionally or intentionally not securing their passwords
    • Have acts of nature been considered right down to infestation with insects? There was an incident whereby an entire organization shut down for days due to an infestation of small flies.
    • What about power-outages due to many reasons such a power box being struck by lightning?
  • Lack of communications amongst peers
    Just like the mandatory fire drills that have companies piling their employees out of the building for a drill and having the procedures for the drill clearly defined for them, a companies Continuity Plan should be administrated and communicated along the same lines. With staff aware of the key personnel to contact and actions to take.  Just as the “fire-escape Plan” is mounted to the walls at various points in a company so should an outline of the Business Continuity plan.
  • Lack of knowledge about the business, its operations and key processes
    As Business continuity requires a complete knowledge of the company, it processes, etc. The BCM Manager should be someone who knows the business inside out and preferably from top-level management with the support and backing of their peers!

Conclusion

The Business Continuity Plan is a vital part of a company’s recovery process and should be implemented by key personnel with an in-depth knowledge of the company.

They should also be committed to the keeping the plan updated, well documented and communicated throughout the company.

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