Few would deny the advantages of business continuity planning (BCP). And there are plenty of business continuity benefits for your organisation. The most important being greater integrity, security, speed and reputation when a crisis plays Jenga with your business model.
Business continuity (BC) needs a clear head, a close eye and plenty of patience. And not just the right mindset either – the technology to pull it off. Because once you nail it down, demands may change, forcing you to reshape that careful work.
If you’re hoping to withstand any threat or disruption, we should talk about those BCP benefits. Because complacency can topple the best of us. You need to create priorities, analyse your environment, and plan effectively for the unforeseen.
Here are seven huge ways a business continuity plan can impact any organisation.
1. You will keep trading
There’s a reason why this is number one. You will still do business and your company will remain stable(ish) during a period of unrest.
You’ll know how to keep your supply chain or service delivery ticking over. The risks to operations are outlined and prepared for. So there might be a cut into your bottom line, but it won’t run half as deep.
Business continuity ensures your processes flex with the situation. You won’t have to grind to a halt while physical disaster, market forces or cybercrime threaten your earning model. Instead, you will have a firm idea of where resources should go, and make quick decisions with the largest positive fiscal outcome.
But you’ll also be mitigating your exposure to financial risk. Data breaches and unsafe conduct can land you with fines and lawsuits. By sticking to best practices in new conditions, that all-important profit isn’t spent on covering mistakes.
2. Recovery will be much faster
To bounce back from a threat, you must have a full appreciation of its consequences. Business continuity means we can return to normal with minimal effort. Or adapt in a way that’s feasible and builds on your reputation.
You might have a strategy for process transformation in the face of digital change, or a cloud-based database in case someone steals your hardware. A unified communications as a service (UCaaS) solution will glue your team together for remote work and abrupt switches in who’s collaborating with whom.
Regardless, an honest risk appraisal – with clear responses – blunts the impact of a major event. Soon enough, you’ll be earning the same as you were, or even more, thanks to the tools and ideas in your business continuity plan.
3. Trust & confidence keep rising
This works in two ways:
- From the perspective of your customers, who stand to gain from your continuity plan, and;
- From your workforce itself.
Your target buyers probably won’t learn about any disaster until something happens and your plans are leaving the station. But they will notice how quickly you’re responding. Particularly if it means their lives, necessities or shopping habits aren’t disrupted.
There’s nothing stopping you from telling customers and other stakeholders that you have a plan before anything happens. An emergency event can mean damage to reputation, revenue or investment for them too. So giving them the outlines of a protection strategy lends an invaluable sense of trust.
Your employees will also have better training and can respond more effectively if business operations change. And in the event of a crisis, everyone can stay a bit safer without panicking.
If the disruption isn’t life-threatening, they’ll still have a clearer picture of your business processes and what they need to do next.
Employees could see how instant messaging, for example, might take the place of untenable phone lines. Or whether fire and flood damage to the office will affect their day-to-day duties. Again, a cloud-based UCaaS service is often the answer: easy, restorable data access for anyone in your team, anywhere when they need to be.
4. It strengthens your brand
In a similar vein, we should mention the lasting mark on your brand’s integrity. Business continuity benefits extend to how people remember your choices and what they represent.
Will you, for instance, handle production challenges while committing to zero-waste targets? How will a one-to-one dialogue play out on a new communications platform? Can staff handle fresh questions at their contact centre when your customers’ priorities change?
Brands survive and thrive on consistent values. During a turning point, the core of your identity must be somewhat intact. A business continuity plan ensures you don’t do things that undermine what you’ve built, what you stand for and how you prove it.
5. The supply chain doesn’t break
Suppliers love to know about risk just as much as you do. They should be doing their own assessments and disaster planning. Yet when you consider more options in the chain, the steadier you are on your own two feet.
Don’t be afraid to ask suppliers about protections they can offer – like cyber defences, remote business communications, and several locations for production.
Business continuity management works in both directions. So make sure you understand the potential threats and their impact on suppliers’ day-to-day operations. And share your own business continuity planning with them too.
Then as you run tests on disruption events, those partners line up with reliable responses. Delivery times and order quotas will be met (or only mildly affected) if you’re rocked by uncertainty.
6. You’ll get ahead of the competition
As much as business continuity benefits seem tough to argue with, some companies miss out. They fail to prepare and take stock of their resources, skills, agility and weak spots. Instead of future-proofing, they look at the here and now, or what’s waiting for them in the next quarter.
Eventually, this will undermine their status in the market – not just what they provide, but how they stay relevant.
Bring your business operations into a richer, longer-term, risk-aware frame of mind, and you’ll race ahead when the times change.
7. Regulatory compliance becomes second nature
There’s always something to learn from holding your business under the microscope. That includes airtight UCaaS security and data protection training to the environmental risks of new transport.
Regulatory requirements are vast, particular, and carry a cost if you breach them. You have to know for certain that business continuity planning stays within its fine lines. Otherwise, what seems like a good idea could open up more risk, or even strip funds from your recovery.
By making risk assessments a habit – both for physical and digital change – your team remains clued-up on the rules. And although some industries have weightier regulations than others, everyone should do this. It’s another sign of confidence for stakeholders. They want to know that nothing will break down, wherever the business is headed.
Discover more business continuity benefits
Follow the link below for a simple breakdown of disaster recovery and business continuity in an easy-to-read graphic. Also, we have more reading material for digital transformation, as well as the platforms that enable it.
- Infographic: Business continuity vs disaster recovery
- Infographic: Digital transformation explained
- Brand Battle: Citrix vs Azure
- Brand Battle: VMware vs VirtualBox