Advice and information about business continuity planning and how your business can survive in the event of a crisis, either a man-made or a natural disaster, which may affect the running of and/or survival of your business.
Would your business survive a crisis?
Do you know that:
- 1 in 5 organisations will suffer a major disruption/disaster every 5 years
- 93% of companies without a Business Continuity Management Plan, that experience a disaster, close within 5 years
- 40% of businesses in the Manchester bombing never recovered
- 50% of companies that lose their critical business data for more than 10 days never recover
- Having Business Continuity Management Plans in place can radically reduce your company's insurance premiums
What is Business Continuity Management (BCM)?
Business Continuity Management is a planned process that helps manage the risks that affect the smooth running of an organisation or delivery of a service within an organisation, ensuring it can continue to operate in the event of an unplanned disruption to normal working.
Its purpose is to maintain an organisation's critical functions and the delivery of its vital services.
Without plans and procedures in place, businesses have to rely on an ad-hoc approach to deal with these and many other issues at the time of either a civil emergency or business disruption.
The Business Continuity Institute defines BCM as:
"A holistic management process that identifies potential impacts that threaten an organisation and provides a framework for building resilience with the capability for an effective response that safeguards the interests of its key stakeholders, reputation and value creating activities"
… in simple terms this is:
The process of preventing, surviving and recovering from a crisis and your ability to continue to deliver your business in the event of a disruption/disaster.
BCM is a generic management framework that is valid across the public, private and voluntary sectors. It is about maintaining the essential business activities of an organisation in an emergency or crisis.
Why is Business Continuity Management important?
Business continuity management is a planning practice used to identify what aspects of your business activities and resources are essential. It can help your organisation to develop documented plans on how to maintain "business as usual" in the event of a business interruption or even a civil emergency. Business continuity management is flexible and can be adjusted to meet the needs of all organisations of different sizes and complexity.
New Government legislation, ie the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, requires local authorities to promote and provide advice on Business Continuity Management to their local businesses and voluntary organisations.This duty aims to ensure that our local businesses in South Ribble, have plans in place to continue 'business as usual' and recover quickly from disruptions. A resilient business community helps to create a resilient Lancashire.
Statistics have shown that every year 1 in 5 businesses suffer a major disruption/disaster .
Disruptions come in all shapes and sizes and no organisation is immune. Examples of causes of disruption that could affect your business are:
- Fire on premises
- Technology failure
- Failure of critical supplies
- Business crime
- Industrial action
- Acts of terrorism
- Loss of key staff
Business Continuity Management looks to minimise the risks of these incidents occurring by carrying out Risk Assessments and where possible, implementing measures to prevent or at the least mitigate the effects. However, when and if they do occur, then the consequences could badly affect your:
- Buildings and facilities
- IT and Communications
- Electronic and manual records
- Supply chain
- Reputation, PR etc.
The above assets are valuable to your business and if one or more of those assets is affected then the smooth running of and the continuation of your business could be in jeopardy. If this is the case then we believe that you should consider developing Business Continuity Management plans in your organisation.Business Continuity Plans (BCPs)
All organisations should carefully consider the case for developing Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) as a systematic basis for managing the continuity of critical functions and recovery of the organisation from disruption. Good business continuity planning may require both generic and specific plans. A generic plan is a core plan which enables an organisation to respond to a wide range of possible scenarios, setting out the common elements of the response to any disruption (eg invocation procedure, command and control, access to financial resources). Within the framework of the generic plan, specific plans may be required in relation to specific risks, sites or services. Specific plans provide a detailed set of arrangements designed to go beyond the generic arrangements when these are unlikely to prove sufficient.
BCPs should be based on systematic identification and assessment of the significant risks of a disruption occurring in an organisation's area. Identifying the risks threatening the performance of the critical functions of an organisation will enable it to focus its resources in the right areas, and develop appropriate plans.
Where do you go from here?
South Ribble Borough Council offers advice and support in developing business continuity plans. We offer this advice free of charge and assist you by providing you with useful web sites and BC practitioners, who are able to prepare plans for your business.
For further information, contact details are as follows:
Shared Assurance Services - 01772 625256
Last updated: 9 January 2007