Business success depends on being prepared for any eventuality that will affect the performance of the business. The art and science of business continuity management are essential to deal with various problems calmly and logically.

Crisis and loss of direct revenue and costs of accident management reduce profits and losses and cause significant damage to the business, which damages the company’s reputation and the failure of essential customers. The business continuity plan is a part of the organization’s strategic management system, which designs, implements, and continuously reviews business continuity activities. This plan is a continuous process in the organization and remains a valuable shield as long as the organization is active.

business continuity plan

What is Business Continuity Plan and Management (BCP)?

 Unexpected events occur in life that causes severe damages to businesses and even the destruction of companies. These include floods, fires, power outages, and the spread of diseases like the Coronavirus. If proper management is not done in these critical situations, significant damage will be done to the business, essential customers will be lost, and even the company will be destroyed.

Business continuity planning helps you to continue your important business in times of crisis and unforeseen events and to get your business back to pre-crisis levels as quickly as possible.


 BCP is helpful

This planning will guide you to identify potential crises and anticipate their possible effects while also teaching you to develop a business continuity plan for emergencies and prepare yourself for that potential disaster. Creating such a plan shows your shareholders and customers that you have a smart, far-sighted, and conservative organization.

Government agencies in the United States refer to this process as Continuity of Operations Planning.

 What are the potential business crises?

Potential business crises are unforeseen events that cause significant disruption to the business. Emergencies are severe risks to the company that occurs suddenly and need to be addressed quickly to find useful solutions.

There are many types of damage to businesses, including:

1. Accidental events

 these cases are accidental and include such things as fire, gas leakage, power outage, etc.

2. Natural disasters

 that are environmental crises; Like floods, earthquakes, and storms that are unpredictable.

3. Technology devices

 such as IT system defects, hardware defects, cyberattacks, or malware, and they damage sensitive resources, such as data or employee performance.

4. Restrictions on access to the workplace

 if people are unable to access their workplace due to incidents such as gas leaks, they will not manage things.

5. Prevalence of various diseases or Infectious infections

 such issues can pose severe risks to the health and safety of employees

6. Lack of fuel

 If there is a temporary shortage in fuel supply, it prevents employees from continuing their activities and creates problems in constructing and delivering orders.

7. Terrorist attack

 such dangers cause severe damage to the activities of employees.

8. Illness of key employees or their loss

 How will the business continue if one of the key employees is not present at work for any reason?

9. Problems for suppliers

 In this situation, what alternative sources have been pre-selected?

10. Crises that affect your reputation in the business

 For example, what do you do when false information is published in the media?

 While not all of these crises will happen, it is brilliant to have a pre-determined plan to overcome them.

 What is crisis management, and what are its benefits?

Crisis management is a process that involves dealing with threats before, during, and after their occurrence to minimize damage and enable rapid business recovery.

Imagine that you can focus solely on your organization’s strategic growth! And get rid of various worries about external threats such as global financial crises, political crises, infectious diseases, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters, so you can see your business grow.

Be safe from external and internal injuries. Today, organizations worldwide have realized the importance of managing the business continuity system and its role in leading the organization in unexpected situations and consider it a necessity.

Business impact analysis and risk assessment are two critical components in BCP

Business impact analysis

 BIA Business Impact Analysis is a systematic process designed to determine and evaluate the potential effects of a critical operation interruption, such as an accident. This analysis is a step in the right program, which can ensure business continuity and help us know which functions are vital to our business and what disruptions affect them; Thus, it minimizes the risk and its complications.

One of the BIA’s fundamental assumptions is that each component of the organization’s performance depends on the continuous implementation of all other departments and members. Still, some of them are more important than others, so they need to allocate more resources after the accident. For example, a company’s information system is a vital part of it.

Business analysis and risk assessment are two essential steps in a business continuity plan. BIA analysis is often done before risk assessment. This process focuses on the effects or consequences of interruptions that occur to essential business operations and attempts to assess the financial and non-financial costs associated with an accident.

Risk assessment

Risk assessment assesses possible risks such as cyberattacks, earthquakes, floods, and vulnerable areas. In risk assessment, weaknesses that make assets more vulnerable are examined and identified. In this assessment, the findings of the business analysis may be tested against different risk scenarios.

What activities and steps does business analysis involve?

There are no formal standards for BIA, but it usually involves the following steps:

*Data collection

* Evaluate the information collected

* Prepare a report to document the findings

* Provide results to senior management

The information collected can include a description of the main activities performed by the business units, the names of the organizations that depend on the operational processes, the ranking of the importance of specific functions, critical information systems, and their users, and the time and steps required by a business unit. The operating mode is standard.

Consulting with business leaders and using charts related to essential business processes and workflow analysis can be helpful.

What are the goals of BIA Business Impact Analysis?

 This analysis helps you understand how the business works in the event of a failure; Also, you will calculate your recovery time and identify the resources needed to maintain your current performance.

The information obtained from this analysis forms the basis of your business recovery and helps create a business continuity plan.

 Differences Between Business Impact Analysis and Risk Assessment

 Both lead to business continuity, But business impact analysis does not directly focus on the likelihood of events and considers the worst-case scenarios.

 But risk assessment analysis allows you to examine potential internal and external risks and threats and the likelihood and impact of their occurrence.

Effects and dangers of unplanned and lack of BCP

It is interesting to know that about 20% of businesses face at least one accident every year, and their activity is disrupted. Statistics show that more than 50% of companies have seen their services become D own in the last five years. A data accident completely disrupts the activities of 93% of organizations that do not use Disaster Recovery.

Cyberattacks are among the most common attacks on businesses that cause a lot of financial damage to companies. In some cases, repeated attacks on companies’ data can damage their brand reputation and result in financial losses for the company. Disruption in IT and telecom disruption and power outage, human resources failure, equipment failure, and security accidents are among the events that cause the loss of company shareholders and create irreparable challenges. The only way to prevent Such injuries is by using a business continuity plan that makes you healthy and efficient in the face of such problems.

Assign a special team to deal with the crisis

It is recommended that you assign a task force to manage the crisis to achieve faster and better performance. This group consists of several managers and specialized and experienced people. It is recommended to choose a person to plan and give him the necessary authority.

Convincing reasons for using a business continuity management system:

1. Provides an overview of time-sensitive activities and an understanding of the prospects for business threats.

Business Impact Analysis and Assessment Threat Risk are the two main pillars of an effective business continuity management system. Business analysis is a process that provides the minimum requirements, dependencies, and technologies along with critical documentation in times of crisis.

Analyzes the organization’s critical resources and activities and helps managers understand time-sensitive activities and develop a comprehensive and accurate investment strategy.

2. Improve the image and build trust for stakeholders

Crisis management ensures that the people who benefit from the relationship with this company, like shareholders and customers, do not lose their confidence and continue to cooperate with the company; Also, the disclosure of rumors and confidential information is prevented. As a result, a healthy accountability system keeps the organization and its affiliates calm.

3. Return on investment even without a crisis

Although implementing recovery strategies for the success of a business continuity system is tedious and costly, without such procedures, the cost of resource recovery in the event of an accident increases dramatically. Also, implementing such a system will reduce the cost of insurance of the organization or even provide the possibility of receiving insurance premiums without paying additional fees.

 Many insurance companies offer discounts on their insurance policies and commitments to organizations that benefit from the business continuity plan. With this plan, organizations provide a reliable source for their stakeholders, which will continue their business and increase their income.


Important elements of BCP

Every business continuity plan consists of three essential elements: flexibility, recovery, and probability of occurrence.

* The organization increases its flexibility by identifying its vital services and systems. When the organization considers all aspects of an accident and preparedness for any event, it has a high degree of flexibility when faced with a crisis.

* The services must be returned as soon as possible; Therefore, it is necessary to identify critical services and systems to be retrieved at the time of the accident.

* Considering the probability of an accident can enable companies in the face of calamities. Determining and explaining the duties and people makes each person’s duties clear at the time of the accident, and the crisis is managed in the best way. These tasks include replacing damaged hardware, assessing damage, and contacting experts for advice, and more.

Steps of Business Continuity Plan

1. Identify all functions and processes of the business

2. Prioritize items that have a special place for the business

3. Investigate possible problems

4. Find the right solutions

5. Determine existing dependencies, such as IT systems

6. Investigate the operational effects of disorders on people, functions, and technology

7. Investigation of financial and legal damages

8. Develop recovery time requirements

Following these steps will result in a business impact analysis report. The report has the following benefits:

1. Hypothesis scenarios provide the worst-case scenario for business owners.

2. Determines the amount of financial loss in times of crisis.

3. Shows the extent of financial and operational impacts caused by these disorders.

What effects can you expect from a potential business crisis or damage to business performance?

1. Destruction of sales and revenue

2. Increase costs and expenses such as overtime and outsourcing

3. Legal and contractual penalties

4. Customer dissatisfaction and their loss

5. Damage to world reputation

A final and significant step

The important thing is that every business tests its plan and tests and updates it to identify and eliminate the omissions and weaknesses.

A few examples

 Problems of the company building: 

The roof of the office is damaged, and water is dripping from what it is, in this case, the employees are transferred to another floor of the same building or in case the electricity of the building is damaged and cut off, the employees are asked to perform their duties remotely.

Problems of the computer center: 

One of the servers is broken. In this case, we use an alternative server and continue to operate. The fire data center is destroyed, and we perform recovery at the disaster support site.

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Hussein Imenipour

Author Hussein Imenipour

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