Business continuity means that the day-to-day activities of a company can continue in some form, even in emergency situations. While business may not continue as usual during these events, a proper business continuity plan can ensure that key business operations will go on as staff proceed with the business recovery procedures. All companies know that they need this plan to recover from a disaster, but not all companies know how to create these plans. Also, all companies do not understand the wide range of risks that could impact their business and day-to-day activities. The business continuity consultant helps companies devise this plan to ensure their continuing operations.
When people think about disaster recovery, events such as a fire, flood, earthquake, or hurricane, are usually the first that come to mind. These catastrophic events can greatly impact the normal operations of a company and could even shut down its operations for an extended period of time. People should be aware, however, that business recovery from these events are just a portion of the overall business continuity plan.
Companies must also plan for other events that can impact their operations just as much as these disasters. Smaller scale problems, such as computer network crashes, supply chain disruptions, or power outage, can hinder a company’s ability to operate.
A business continuity consultant can help companies identify the likely risks to their business and develop processes and procedures that will keep the company working during these events. The consultant may meet with the key personnel in the company and identify what services are most important to the company.
These meetings may determine which computer resources should be restored first, which staff members must be available during the event, and which backup facilities can be used. The business continuity consultant may also review the financial resources available to implement the plan since any plan must be cost-efficient and fit within the company’s budget.
After collecting all of this information, the business continuity consultant may develop a comprehensive business continuity plan and document any new policies and procedures that are needed. The business continuity plan may detail how the company communications will occur, both internally with employees and externally with suppliers and customers. Backup facilities, IT recovery activities, procedures for non-essential employees, and a business recovery schedule should also be included.
The business continuity consultant may make recommendation on how companies can improve their business continuity capabilities. The consultant may also provide training activities so that companies know how to implement the new plan.