Could your business continue to operate without electricity or internet, in wartimes or through destructive hurricanes? How long would it take you to recover from a hard drive breakdown or a ransomware attack that encrypts and locks your networks and devices?

 

It’s true. Unexpected events happen. And for the companies that endured such times, like Hurricane Sandy in 2012, planning for the worst with a business continuity plan is essential to ensure that their business can remain active – and stay competitive during disruptive times.

 

But with the myriad of disruptive threats today, what is a business continuity plan, what does it typically cover and why is it important that you have one?

 

Why is it important to have a BCP?

A Business Continuity Plan, or BCP, contains a chosen set of activities and actions to keep your organization afloat, operative, and competitive not only during worst-case scenarios and disastrous events, but also in small events like internet outage. It allows you to bounce back from disasters and continue to serve your best customers – often as if nothing happened.

 

Among the disastrous events a business continuity plan covers are:

 

  • Natural disasters (such as floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes)
  • Epidemics and pandemics
  • Telecommunication or power outages
  • Sabotage, human errors, or strikes
  • Terrorism, war, and civil disorders
  • Malicious software (computer viruses, trojan horses, and worms)
  • Hacking or internet attacks
  • Theft or data leaks
  • IT failures or outage

 

When the unexpected happens, a BCP gives the company a plan of action to continue during outages and disasters — which typically means having continued access to power, email, the internet, and other internal resources for small businesses.

 

Companies that don't have a plan for these disasters can suffer tremendous financial loss – even leading to bankruptcy. Such events can also wreak reputational havoc when you can no longer be there to serve your customers.

 

Why is it important to have a BCP?

Now, let’s review the main reasons why businesses need to have a BCP in place:

 

1. Helps your business stays afloat even during the crisis

If there’s a time when it’s more important than ever to stay afloat, it’s during a crisis. And crises do happen. It’s a reality: SMBs are a prime target for ransomware attacks. In fact, according to ID Agent, two in five SMBs were impacted by ransomware in 2020.

With hefty six-figure ransoms, they can lock you out of your important data until you pay. And even if you manage to restore your devices without giving in to demands, you will have very expensive downtime costs. 

A BCP helps your business operate in such events because you have a backup plan. That means, even during threats, disruption, and disasters, you can continue working without any significant loss in downtime – ensuring a stable, secure business that’s well-prepared for any event.

2. Manages financial loss

Downtime and loss of information can spell financial catastrophe for a business. Recovering data is expensive, and it’s not uncommon for smaller companies to lose money in the six figure ranges for only a few hours of downtime. Techradar shared research from Infrascale, where 74% of SMBs reported downtime costs between $10,000 and over $50,000 for every hour of downtime.

Unprepared companies that experience significantly disruptive events can suffer downtime that run for longer than a few hours. In those cases, costs can quickly equate to the loss of the entire business.

With a BCP, you can minimize the financial impact by resuming operations quickly and effectively, even when your competitors can’t.

3. Protects what’s most important for your company

In the event of an outage, how will you access or retrieve your data? Your data holds important intellectual property, customer records, projects, documents, and more. Data loss is nothing short of a business catastrophe, and protecting it needs to be a top priority.

The planning phase of a BCP and disaster recovery will quickly expose weaknesses in your data protection and information security, allowing you to find areas that need urgent attention and care.

And thanks to your BCP, you have a plan for how to quickly and effectively retrieve and access your business-critical files.

4. Builds customer confidence & organization’s reputation

Longer outages and an inability to deliver can damage your reputation and a customer's confidence in you. The same is true for privacy leaks. Your customers have trusted you with their personal information and expect you to keep it in safe hands.

To continue being a competitive, preferred vendor, you want your customers to be confident in your ability to deliver your products and services, as well as in your ability to protect their privacy data.

With a BCP that includes how you can continue operations in any disastrous events, you can keep delighting your customers and have a plan to always keep your organization’s reputation intact.

5. Improves business development

The BCP planning process allows you to expose flaws and find business areas for improvement. This planning stage is a great opportunity to make your company more stable and secure in all areas. You’ll know how you can stay active without disruption in the case of any disaster and can improve your way towards becoming a company that delivers its services without any outages or hassle.

 

Future-proof your business with a BCP

There's no denying that a business continuity plan is incredibly important for companies that want to stay operational, secure, and competitive in times of disaster. By reading this article, you have learned what a BCP is and why it’s important to have one. You have also learned how the planning phase of a BCP can improve your business development by finding improvement opportunities.

At Amoeba, our job is translating business goals into technology solutions. If you want your business to remain safe in the event of disasters but have little time, don’t worry – you can get in touch with us and we can develop a comprehensive BCP for you. 

Or, if you already have one, we can help revise your existing BCP, as well as advise and guide you on best practices for all your IT-related matters.

Natural disasters, cyberattacks, and other disastrous threats are real and can greatly impact your business. So, to stay secure, in good times and bad – a BCP is vital for modern businesses.

Our recommendation? 

Create a BCP as soon as possible and future-proof your business.

 


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