Business Continuity

How can your business be prepared?

If you own or are responsible for a business or organisation, have you considered the impacts from external emergencies?

How would you organisation cope with:

  • A sudden and significant reduction in staff?
  • Denial of access to a site or geographical area?
  • Unexpected loss of mains electricity?
  • A temporary disruption to gas supplies?
  • A disruption to the supply of mains water and sewerage?
  • Significant disruption to transport?
  • Disruption to the availability of oil and fuel?
  • A loss of telecommunications?
  • A loss of or disruption to your computer systems?
  • A disruption which affects your key suppliers or partners?

Business Continuity Management

Business Continuity Management is the process through which organisations aim to continue the delivery of their key products and services during and following a disruption to normal activity, and to recover afterwards.  Effective business continuity is the first line of defence for any organisation to ensure they are able to maintain the delivery of their core services and, in the long-run, to assure their survival.

Organisations should consider a wide range of potentially disruptive challenges; both internal, for example disruption to computer systems, and external, for example severe weather.

The community risk register providers businesses with information on the likelihood and potential impact of a range of different risks, in order to assist their own risk management and business continuity management arrangements.

Does your organisation have adequate business continuity measures in place?

5 steps to effective business continuity

  1. Understand your business
    • What parts of the business are critical and what priority would you allocate to restoring functions if they fail?
  2. Risk assessment
    • What risks does your business face (internal and external)?
    • Consider these risks within your business risk assessment.  What can you put in place to reduce the likelihood of the risks and/or the impact of them?
  3. Consider the resources needs of each of your business functions 
    • People
    • Premises
    • Equipment
    • Information
    • Communications
    • External suppliers / contractors
  4. Document information in a user-friendly format about your business' critical functions and the resources required including alternatives / backups for  each
    • This will assist you during and after an emergency.
  5. Train and test your staff in activating the continuity plan and the roles and procedures within it.