Business continuity management (BCM) is an essential part of every modern organization, and it’s something that you need to be constantly aware of when you are planning how to grow your business, but why? what’s the big deal? And how do you actually do it? If you don’t know where to start and what you need to pay attention to when implementing BCM, no worries! Take a look at this easy step-by-step guide on how to implement BCM in your organization.
Continuity planning is a complex, but essential, component of a robust disaster recovery (DR) program. Business Continuity Planning (BCP) entails establishing how an organization will respond to various types of outages and how it will recover once they occur.
While BCP has been traditionally associated with natural disasters and man-made crises such as terrorist attacks, it’s increasingly becoming more crucial in dealing with day-to-day issues that prevent employees from getting to their desks—or that prevent vital applications from being available when they are needed most. With a focus on BCP, TCS Process hosts educational courses where organizations learn about cyber threats, phishing attacks and other IT vulnerabilities that could disrupt operations or even cripple companies completely.
Bcm Strategy Development
The first step in developing a business continuity management strategy is to select objectives. Without objectives, it will be difficult to measure performance or determine what’s working and what isn’t. Objectives must be specific, measurable, and attainable (S.M.A.R.T.). Be sure your objective meets each of these criteria before moving on with planning activities. Following are examples of how various organizations have chosen their BCM Strategy
Business Impact Analysis
First, conduct a thorough BIA to help determine your organization’s level of preparedness. An effective business impact analysis will involve determining critical systems and processes, as well as identifying threats to those systems and processes. The type of threat you analyse depends on your business: Are external forces (such as extreme weather conditions) most likely to impact your company?
Or is internal theft more likely (like a disgruntled employee)? Conducting a detailed BIA will allow you to focus on what really matters; it’s easier—and more cost-effective—to focus first on important aspects of your business that are at highest risk. If nothing else, conducting an BIA shows employees how seriously they should take their job responsibilities.
Do a risk assessment. What is your company doing to protect itself from threats? Make sure that in your plan, you have addressed all of your risks. This may include natural disasters (earthquakes and hurricanes), man-made disasters (terrorist attacks) or loss of power.
If you know about a particular threat facing your industry, make sure to address it as well. For example, if there is a major shortage of oil on the global market due to political strife in a country (think Middle East), prepare an alternative fuel source that isn’t dependent on gas—and make sure everyone knows what’s going on if prices go up at local gas stations.
A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is designed to protect your organization and its data in case a disaster strikes. To ensure that your business functions are not disrupted, it’s important to define how threats will be identified, assessed, and managed. A BCP may include two basic components: a proactive component and a reactive component.
The proactive component anticipates possible interruptions in company operations by anticipating events that could disrupt production or service delivery, such as power outages or computer system failure. It also establishes policies to help manage those events in advance of any actual disruption. The reactive component of a BCP defines procedures that will be used to handle incidents once they occur, such as emergency evacuation plans.
In any given year, there are more than 700 earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 or greater worldwide. The source of most of these quakes is human activity, namely mining and construction; man-made quakes are called induced seismicity in industry jargon.
There are also more than 500 active volcanoes on earth (although many of them have gone dormant), spewing carbon dioxide and other hazardous chemicals into our atmosphere at an alarming rate—that’s why some scientists think climate change may actually be a symptom of a global volcano problem. What’s worse, we often don’t know about these threats until it’s too late to stop them.
Control Assessment and Selection
Control assessment is a method of ranking controls within an organization by order of importance. Control selection is about identifying, and prioritizing risks based on their likelihood and impact to overall performance of your mission. By prioritizing your risks, you’re also prioritizing which controls will help mitigate them—effectively identifying which controls are most important to your organization.
There are two main processes that fall under control assessment and selection: BIA (Business Impact Analysis) and COBIT (Control Objectives for Information Technology). The BIA measures an organization’s exposure to risk by considering its individual components, while COBIT details how information technology specifically exposes an organization to risk.
Plan Development, Testing, & Approval
Every organization needs a disaster recovery plan—no exceptions. Ideally, all businesses should have multiple plans in place to deal with different kinds of outages or emergencies (for example: an outage affecting one office vs. your whole company).
You’ll need a solid plan in place before anything happens—after something does happen and you’re trying to decide what to do next, chances are things will move very quickly and decisions will have to be made quickly; it’s much better to have an actionable plan in hand than try and figure out what needs to be done while you’re reacting. If someone says they don’t need a backup plan because they’re so good at their jobs, ask them if their job is actually saving lives…or just making money.
The process of identifying and documenting who will participate in various aspects of your organization’s continuity program, how they will communicate with one another and other involved parties, and which communication channels will be used. Communication is important to help ensure that all key parties are aware of their responsibilities during an emergency situation.
Planning includes determining who needs to be notified in case of an emergency and how often they need to be updated. It also helps identify any potential problems or oversights that may arise during a disaster, such as problems with technology or communication lines. Communication planning is an ongoing process; new teams may be added as part of growing your business or identifying additional risks that require more frequent updates from certain personnel.
In TCS’s Business Continuity Management (BCM) Process, there are four phases: Risk Assessment; Risk Evaluation and Treatment; Disaster Recovery and Contingency Planning; and Emergency Response. Within each phase of TCS’s BCM Process, different methods of planning take place.
The risk assessment method of planning is used in Phase 1 to define risks, analyse their potential effects on a business’ continued operations, identify how long it would take to fully recover from a disaster, and determine how much a company could lose by failing to prevent disasters or address them effectively. The objective of risk evaluation and treatment is to reduce risks while keeping costs at an acceptable level through strategies such as avoidance, transfer, or acceptance.