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Business Continuity Planning - Proactive And Reactive

Oct 13, 2007
What is business continuity? It is about making plans to help your business return to normal following an interruption, crisis or even disaster. It is not just about dealing with disasters when they occur but also about planning procedures and systems to avoid any foreseeable crisis.

If you watch the news you will notice that disasters are happening on a daily basis around the globe. The biggest harbinger of trouble is Mother Nature with her volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunami, floods and droughts. Have I missed anything?

Mother Nature is closely followed by man made disasters. Wherever man is around you can be sure that some sort of crisis is getting ready to erupt. Man specialises in eroding the environment, starting a war, oppressing the weak, bombing innocent civilians and creating environments where fire spreads quickly!

In both man made and natural disasters the first thing to often get affected is the internet and our ability to communicate effectively. So therefore this is the first item on the agenda in a decent business continuity plan. What proactive measures can the business can to have as many channels of communication open and how can it establish communication as soon as possible once it has gone down?

Data is another important factor to consider. What proactive plans does the business have to ensure that a backup of data is kept at a separate location? How can this data be used effectively if the infrastructure is damaged or in a worst case scenario - destroyed?

Having clear plans in place to cope with injury and in worst cases a loss of life can often help to reduce any potential losses. Bear in mind that it is not only business that you have to think about but also the family members of the victims of the disaster.

How will your customers cope if you can not meet their requirements in time? Do you have alternative suppliers available to keep your customers ticking over until your business is ready to supply them again?

Finally do not forget to consider your suppliers. They will also suffer and some could even close down if you are their largest customer.

By creating a business continuity plan the manager of a business can get a deeper understanding of the critical parts of the business. By having both proactive and reactive plans and procedures in place, it makes it far easier to avoid some foreseeable crisis and being able to deal quickly with a disaster when it does occur.
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