Business Continuity Plan

7 Feb

In my previous blog I have discussed about Discovery Disaster Planning. Now I will highlight the Business Continuity Plan to complete what others in my category have already explained.  (jamesdaly1990) already introduced a Business Plan Process framework, and I total agree with him that it can be helpful for our group to build a good framework.

In my own understand of Business Continuity Plan I also discover similar information like (billynomates2012) mentioned in his previous blog, but in different way. As I mentioned in my last blog that “disasters might take place anytime, so the organizations must be prepared” [4]. Taking into consideration the type and extent of the company, a plan i.e. Business continuity plan is devised to lessen down the distraction that could be caused by the disaster and keep the business competitive [3]. The Business Continuity plan should include the occurrence of several events including equipment failure; disturbance in power supply or telecommunication; application failure or database corruption; human fault, disruption or strike; malicious Software (i.e. viruses, trojan horses or worms) attack; hacking; other Internet attacks; social disturbances or terrorist attacks, fire, theft and natural disasters like flood, hurricane, earthquake etc [2].

Business Continuity planning stages

Stage 1 Project Beginning

– Defining Business Continuity aims and extent of coverage.

– Establishing Business Continuity Steering Committee.

– Drawing up Business Continuity guidelines and policies.

Stage 2 Business Analysis

– Performing Risk Analysis and Business Impact Analysis.

– Considering alternative business continuity approaches.

– Carrying out the Cost-Benefit assessment and selecting an approach.

– Developing a Business Continuity Budget.

Stage 3 Design and Development (Designing the plan)

– Setting up a team for Business Recovery and assigning accountability to the members.

– Identifying plan structure and chief elements

– Developing Backup and Recovery approaches.

– Developing Scenario for executing plan.

– Developing escalation, notification as well as plan activation criteria.

– Developing General Plan Administration Policy.

Stage 4 Implementation (Devising the plan)

– Preparing Emergency Response practices.

– Preparing Command Centre Activation practices.

– Preparing comprehensive recovery practices.

– Preparing vendors agreements and purchasing recovery resources.

– Ensuring everything essential is in place.

– Ensuring Recovery Team members are familiar with their tasks and duties.

Stage 5 Testing

– Exercising Plan grounded on chosen Scenario.

– Producing test report and evaluating the outcome.

– Providing training and awareness to each and every Personnel.

Stage 6 Maintenance (Updating the plan)

– Reviewing the Plan at regular intervals.

– Updating the plan with any alterations or enhancements.

– Distributing the plan to the recovery team members.

 

Business continuity planning framework

A single business continuity planning framework should be maintained to make sure that each and every level of plan is consistent and also to recognize priorities for the purpose of testing and maintenance [2]. Business continuity plans should be task oriented and modular. Every plan should evidently indicate the conditions for its occurrence along with the people accountable for putting into practice every element of the set plan [4]. New plans must be related with the established emergency processes and prevailing fall-back arrangements, telecommunications, core computer services and accommodation [1]. Distinct levels of plan might be needed as every level might include a dissimilar focus and take in distinct recovery panels [3]. Every plan should comprise of four chief elements:

  • Emergency actions – outlining the instant action to be carried out subsequent to a major incident which jeopardises business procedures [1]1.
  • Fallback procedures – outlining the actions to be carried out in order to move necessary business processes and the support services to a temporary location [2].
  • Resumption procedures – outlining the actions to be carried out to return the company and its procedures to the normal full function, generally at the actual site [1].
  • Test schedule – outlines how the plan needs to be examined [4].

Every level of the business continuing plan and every individual plan should include a particular custodian.

Picture1

The implementation of an efficient Business Continuity Management framework within a company offers advantages in several areas [2]. The benefits include safety of shareholder value; decreased exposure to specific risks through methodical risk recognition; better understanding about the business is attained through way of risk analysis; functional resilience follows on from executing risk reduction; downtime is deceased at the time when alternative procedures as well as workarounds are recognized; compliance problems could be recognized and managed for optional procedures; important records could be protected and maintained; the consequences for Health & Safety laws and Duties of care could be taken into consideration [1]; enhanced operational efficiency by a forced practice of business procedure re-engineering, superior organizational resilience through allotting alternative individuals to support main procedures and through describing and documenting recovery procedures; safety of both the knowledge and physical assets of the company; preservation of marketplaces through ensuring the continuity of supply; enhanced safety and prevention of liability actions [2].

The drawbacks associated with business continuity include the fact that the plan needs to be continuously edited for modifications, the plan needs to be tested on a continuous basis [3], the plan must be kept in a safe environment for the reason that it would include information important to how the systems operate taking in the possible information related to confidential processes [1]; the examiners would have to continually tear into the plan revealing what they regard as flaws. If there is no plan, they have less to complain about, the cost of planning and actions and lastly, the time spent to carry out the entire procedure.

To conclude, from the above discussion it can be clearly stated that business continuity planning has acquired a good place in today’s continuously changing business world [1]. Putting in place a BCP framework should be viewed as precedence for any company provided the operational risks which they encounter and the important functions and operations which they carry out [2]. The formation of a Business continuity plan should not be viewed as a onetime project but should become a vital fraction of the everyday operations of the company [4]. Further, BCP framework has several advantages associated with it but at the same time companies should also not overlook the drawbacks/limitations related to BCP.

Ref:

1.Cerullo, V. and Cerullo, M. J. (2004) Business continuity planning: A comprehensive approach, Information Systems Management, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 70-78.

2.Gibb, F. and Buchanan, S. (2006) A framework for business continuity management, International journal of information management, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 128-141.

3. Herbane, B., Elliott, D. and Swartz, E. M. (2004) Business continuity management: Time for a strategic role? Long Range Planning, Vol. 37, No. 5, pp. 435-457.

4. Lam, W. (2002) Ensuring business continuity, IT professional, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 19-25.

One Response to “Business Continuity Plan”

  1. Hi there, constantly i used to check web site posts here in the early
    hours in the break of day, since i enjoy to learn more and more.

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