Every business must face the fact that it has vulnerabilities, regardless of sector, operational size or physical location. In recent weeks, the Abilott blog has examined the menace of cyber-crime, a global threat that respects no boundaries. This blog has emphasised the importance of preparing for such events, and how to deter best or head off any cyber-crime incursions. However, it would be a mistake to think every threat to business would be cyber in origin. News reports of data breaches and hacking can so dominate our thinking that we can forget the more traditional dangers that still exist, and that can still disrupt a business’ operations, or even cripple them.
Preserving the Delicate Balance
Production and providing of services often rely on a delicate balance of resources and chains of supply. Not that every business is like a house of cards, but there are so many inter-dependent factors in the functioning of the average business that it does not take a lot to bottleneck or clog the processes. Supplies of materials may be impeded, the levels of stock can run low, and members of staff can be cut off from the workplace by natural disasters or industrial disputes. One small hiccup can quickly become amplified beyond measure, with wildly unpredictable results. Such unpredictability will concern any sensible manager or executive, and they will appreciate how unpredictable conditions can quickly compound themselves and achieve the runaway dimensions of a full-blown crisis.
So how can businesses face up to the potential threats of the various disasters that could occur to them? Simply put, it is always best to plan ahead. All well and good, you may reply, but such a course is easy to recommend, and much harder to enact. How can you plan ahead for the unknown? How can you know what your business is going to face in the way of calamities, be they cyber in origin or not?
Ensuring Business Continuity
Every business should give thought to the subject of business continuity management. As a part of such management, every business should consider formulating a comprehensive disaster recovery plan. Such a scheme should not be a sketchy outline, but a well-drilled document that while not dominating employees and managers minds, should be in the workplace consciousness. To illustrate, you do not have a fire-drill every day, but should the fire alarm go off, all occupants of the building should instinctively know where to go and the manner and route of their exit. Similarly, should a disaster occur and business continuity be threatened, everyone should know their immediate next few steps, as outlined in the disaster recovery plan. Such a DR plan does not need to list everything, but it should be designed to keep the core of the business under steam and ensure that the coherence of the company is kept. This staff coherence is essential. If everyone is kept together and made aware of the current situation, the agility of the business is safeguarded, allowing the organisation to stay organised and draw up ranks against the onrushing charge of circumstances. Disasters have few constants; they are unpredictable and mercurial. Thus the best option is to stay united and on your toes.
Abilott delight in assisting companies to formulate their business continuity strategies. Disaster recovery plans are a large feature of such strategies. In our next blog, we will examine how such a plan can be formulated, and how the benefits can be evidenced.