What is Business Continuity?
Business continuity is a process developed to counteract systems
failure. Business continuity plans are required to ensure your
business/organisation is able to function in the event of an
emergency. Emergencies may arise from the external environment
(over which you have no control) such as the floods in January
2005, or emergencies may arise from within the organisation, such
as deliberate or accidental damage to systems - particularly
computer records. nbsp;
Why Have a Business Continuity Plan?
Understandably, it is essential that there is a certain degree of
confidence that your business could continue to deliver its
business objectives and minimise the effects of disruption should
any emergency arise. Ensuring that there is an effective business
continuity plan in place is an invaluable step that can be taken to
make sure your business suffers minimal disruption. Without
the business continuity plan in place it is possible that should a
natural or man made disaster occur, your organisation could lose
income through being unable to function to its normal standard, or
in extreme circumstances there could be complete faliure of your
organisation.The following statistics provide further evidence
emphasising the necessity of a business continuity plan:
- 80% of businesses affected by a major incident close within 18
- 90% of businesses that lose data from a disaster are forced to
shut within 2 years.
- 58% of UK organisations were disrupted by September 11th. One
in eight was seriously affected.
Developing an Effective Plan
An effective business continuity plan will encompass all
eventualities and should enable your business to recover quickly
and efficiently should an emergency/disaster take place. The
business plan should be concise and available to all staff members
that are responsible for components of the plan. The
following action points should be considered when developing your
business continuity plan:
- Analyse your business - this involves listing the businesses
critical services and considering areas in which your business
may be vulnerable e.g. suppliers, partners, buildings, staffing and
natural disasters such as fires, floods and flu pandemics.
- Assess the risks - consider the likelihood of certain risks and
what effect certain risks will impose on your business.
- Prepare a plan - the plan should outline how you are able to
continue each of your critical services and various actions for
different risks should be highlighted.
- Test your plan - employees should be involved and training
needs should be addressed. It is essential for the plan to be
- Consider if you are ready for all eventualities.
For further information and advice regarding business
continuity planning please contact Cumbria
For information on emergency planning within the council,
please visit our Emergency