Your Disaster Recovery Plan is simply not good enough

It has been rebranded so many times - Disaster Recovery, Business Recovery, IT Service Continuity, Business Continuity, Business Resilience and Operational Risk Control to name just a few. Business Continuity is the globally recognized heading, under which many of the other phrases may appear.

Here we discuss five reasons why your Business Continuity may fail to meet its desired outcome.

1.     Business Continuity is not integral to the management process

So many organizations with a business continuity plan actually operate it in isolation. It should be a natural course to manage risks within normal business process operations. Operation of business processes will always present risk of process failure. Management at every level are usually aware of potential disruption and can eloquently describe what would happen to production line level. Communication of these golden nuggets must reach senior management if the potential process failure could stop the company.

2.     The Business Continuity system of management is delegated

Ownership of continuity rests at board level. Whilst operation of the process and maintenance of records can be delegated, review, strategic decisions and procedure approval must come from the top of the organisation management. Review of physical risks and their continuity solutions must become part of regular “C level” discussions. Our experience has often found Business Continuity to have been delegated to the IT department. What should have been a plan to protect and recover vital business operations often gets reduced to reliable provision of IT systems. Information availability is only a small part of any business. IT serves the business to make informed management decisions and deliver communications. When both business management and the IT function work together to tackle disruption the business is safe.

3.     The Business Continuity process is static

All too often we come across the dusty old Business Continuity Plan that was written some years ago and was left. Tell-tale signs are failure to change names, outdated process description and even telephone numbers missing or in need to change. Change is a key factor for any successful Business Continuity Management System. Whenever a change to operation, management or location occurs, an update to the Business Continuity management System is due. Business Continuity is one of the management processes so why not make it subject to periodic audit as you would do other processes within the business?

4.     Few people are aware of the Business Continuity activities

Everyone in the organisation is likely to be affected and involved, should an unexpected incident disrupt business operation. No-one would consider a fire drill, which only includes the fire wardens so why should it be different for Business Continuity? Involve everyone to an appropriate extent. Train those who will lead in the event of a disaster. Exercise everyone and internally publish. have you considered restoration? The recovery team will be much woder than your own staff. An army of people, whose task it is to restore IT, clean and sanitize damaged premises and replace fixtures will be need to be planned into your Business Continuity strategy. 

5.     It is much more than a document

One can download cheap or even free Business Continuity Plan templates from the Internet but they will not protect your business. A Business Continuity Management System is the process by which risks to the business are effectively managed and response rehearsed to ensure disruptions are minimized. This means that the training and involvement is far more important that the document itself. The journey toward a resilient business is valuable and need not be costly to undertake. Your destination is to have a regenerative cycle of plan, rehearsal and improvement, which takes account of all risks and eventualities in a simple to explain and manageable continuous process.  

The above are just 5 reasons for failure of attempts to protect your business. There are many more and the solution is easy. Contact us to find out more.

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