The following article is taken from the April 2008 issue of TSW Magazine says William D King. It was written by guest author James M. Keller, who has over 30 years of experience in information technology and telecommunications, including extensive fieldwork for Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) throughout North America and Europe, knowledge management consulting with several Fortune 100 companies, service provider training for government agencies, a systems integrator specializing in ISP practices, and network security analyst for various governments. He is an active member of ISC² (International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium), ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), SPWLA (Society Petroleum Engineers Landsman Committee) and SANS (SysAdmin, Audit, Network and Security).
As the threat of terrorism, natural disasters and other forms of emergencies continue to increase both domestically and internationally, now is a perfect time for all business owners to prepare themselves and their companies for any possible contingency. It is important that each company establishes a formal Business Continuity Plan (BCP) as part of its overall Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP), as BCP’s typically provide the necessary guidelines that allow directors to make informed decisions on how best to handle an emergency situation.
With this in mind, it is crucial that all decision-makers understand what steps they need to take before a disaster strikes.
One of the most important processes associated with creating BCP’s is the self-assessment step. This is the time when company leaders must ask themselves important questions concerning how well prepared they are for potential disasters, as this process usually exposes any weaknesses their companies may have in regards to BCP’s. Without performing a proper self-assessment first, it is almost impossible to create an effective BCP that satisfies all necessary criteria.
Once directors have identified their potentially weak spots. It will be much easier for them to begin planning exactly what needs to be done in order to fill those gaps. There are many different things business owners can do on their own before emergencies arise. Including adding additional building security measures and purchasing extra fire extinguishers or other safety items says William D King. However, having expert advice from people who have the proper training and experience in creating BCP’s is also a must. As their suggestions will usually be invaluable when deciding how to deal with any existing problems.
Now that directors have created their own BCP’s and made all necessary changes. They must put everything into effect and ensure that everyone who works for them knows what he or she should do in an emergency. It is important that company owners hold regular practice drills. And make sure all employees understand why such tests are necessary; this will help to ensure optimal preparation if anything ever happens. Regardless of whether business owners decide to create BCP’s on their own or enlist outside help. It is crucial they implement such plans before emergencies occur. As having no plan in place at all could cause far more damage than any disaster ever could.
Q: What exactly is a Business Continuity Plan (BCP)?
A: A Business Continuity Plan is essentially a detail outline of what steps need to be taken. In order to ensure business operations can continue if an emergency situation arises.
Q: Who typically creates BCP’s?
A: Every company should create its own BCP before any disaster occurs. And it is usually the responsibility of the highest-ranking officials within. Each organization to make sure such plans are complete and implemented correctly says, William D King. However, outside experts with large amounts of experience in creating successful BCP’s can also assist companies with this process. As their assistance will generally provide invaluable insight into all areas that need improvement.
Q: Why do companies need Business Continuity Plans?
A: While some of the most successful companies have been able to continue operating smoothly. Even after experiencing disasters of epic proportions, many others have been unable to bounce back. Due to a lack of a BCP or any sort of plan on what needs to be there. In order for every business owner to be as prepared as possible for any situation. They must make sure their companies create and implement effective Business Continuity Plans.
Regardless of whether business owners decide to create BCP’s on their own or enlist the help of outside experts. It is crucial they implement such plans before emergencies occur explains William D King. Doing so will make it much easier for companies to continue operations. If anything ever happens and also protect everyone who works for them.