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Business Continuity is for life not just BCAW

Many businesses pay little or no attention to what could or would happen in a disaster scenario. After all, that’s what insurance is for, right?

PRLog - Mar. 16, 2012 - Many businesses pay little or no attention to what could or would happen in a disaster scenario. After all, that’s what insurance is for, right?

Only 6% of companies suffering from catastrophic data loss survive, while 43% never reopen and 51%
close within two years.
Companies lose an average of £50,000 for every hour of downtime.
Man‐made disasters affect 10% of small businesses
Natural disasters have impacted more than 30% of all small businesses.
About 70% of all successful attacks on computer networks were carried out by employees.
Gartner 2011

Do you know how to protect your company?

You might consider creating a survey within your organisation to gauge the current level of awareness of what happens in a disaster scenario.  Questions should be relevant to your business and include:
•   What to do in case of comms outage?
•   What do we do if the business facility is unavailable?
•   What is our Business Continuity Plan? Do we have one?
•   What action do we take in case of emergency?
This will help you to determine what gaps exist in your Business Continuity Planning / Disaster Recovery programme.  
Now you are ready to begin creating a strategy.
•   Decide who will coordinate Business Continuity within your organisation.  Give them authority but make sure all staff understand their corporate responsibility and encourage continuity planning to become part of the company culture.
•   Document basic organisational information that includes supplier and customer details as well as your emergency response procedures.
•   Record employee information including how an event may affect certain personnel.
•   Consider what to do before/during/after an event, who to contact, where to go, how to deal with the media, etc.
•   Compile information on external entities such as local emergency services
Now you are ready to prepare your formal Business Continuity Plan. There are tools to help you do this such as the DSM guideline here.
All the documentation you create should be kept in a safe place to which all relevant people in the organisation have access.   In order to keep the materials up-to-date, you should define responsibilities and an audit programme so the materials are reviewed and updated on a regular basis.
Try and get everyone involved by sharing information through notice boards, Intranets or even by holding a competition to enhance awareness in your organisation.  Facility tours and demonstrations give employees a sense of involvement and you are more likely to get their cooperation.
Finally, carry out regular testing to ensure everybody is aware of what they should do in the event of any interruption to business as normal.
If you are just beginning, the information in this article should prove helpful in getting you started. And if your organisation has a mature Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery Plan in place, you might want to take the opportunity review and test your current procedure.
For more advice on how to protect your business in case of a disaster call Amanda on 01480 446142 or email Amanda@dsm-gb.co.uk.

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DSM's Business Continuity Centre is the largest facility of its kind within the UK. Discreetly located on a five acre site the recovery facility provides complete Disaster Recovery solutions for corporate clients.

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