Common Gaps in Enterprise Business Continuity Plans
Your business is a continuously evolving entity. Different moving parts influence change, create an opportunity for progress, and support growth. When it comes to developing an enterprise business continuity plan (BCP), these moving parts need to mirror the changes. Whether change follows from workforce restructuring, acquisitions, or employee turnover, a BCP must be reviewed annually.
However, regardless of plan reviews, some companies still overlook the most common glaring gaps in their BCPs that can lead to extensive losses. Having worked with hundreds of organizations and orchestrated a myriad of recoveries, our experts highlight the most common gaps in enterprise business continuity plans.
Unclear definition of disaster recovery success and planning by management
A cost-benefit analysis of business continuity can present its challenges.
The management may disregard a “what-if” scenario unless there are certain rules and regulations to be followed. What drives the decision-making of company leaders is based on solid financials that profit departments, stakeholders, and the bottom line.
There’s always some uncertainty associated with executing an enterprise business continuity plan. However, benefits that result from BC planning efforts are everchanging and affect numerous departments and operations.
That’s why it’s essential to provide managers with detailed analyses covering the impact of various business interruptions. Industry reports, such as Business Interruption Report, make a compelling case that will convince and encourage company leaders to implement a BCP.
Relying on a single vendor/strategy as an ultimate BCDR solution
Relying on one vendor or strategy as a “one-and-done” approach is destined to fail.
If an organization relies on a work from home plan for their entire workforce, it’s most likely to be a single point of failure for such a company.
Our experts have encountered instances in which a company didn’t have enough licenses for their employees to access their projects remotely. Besides that, how many of your employees take their laptops home? If access to your building were to be compromised, those employees who left their work equipment in the office would be cut off from the operations. Among other significant disadvantages of working from home are security concerns and lack of productivity.
Arranging for redundancy when it comes to either vendors or contingency strategy allows enterprises to minimize risk and improve ROI. If your vendor is going through management changes or a crisis, your company can easily switch providers or use a backup plan without any complications.
For that reason, a vendor checklist for critical services can be a lifeline during business continuity planning and evaluation. This can include due diligence of essential services on which a specific vendor relies. The goal of such an assessment is not to delegate the responsibility of a failure to the vendor. The point is to estimate any potential threats related to the vendor.
It’s advantageous to educate vendors with your previous experiences because they are your partners in continuity planning.
Lack of enterprise business continuity testing and training
The limits of a business continuity plan and its processes often come to management’s attention only after a business interruption. Planning and training helps address the missing parts of the strategy.
Whether it is a tabletop exercise or a simulation walk-through, testing business continuity allows you and your workforce to exercise how to approach an emergency situation. It also helps in finding gaps in the plan to address where it needs improvement.
A common issue that we’ve seen over the years is businesses that have a plan, but don’t make it a priority to test regularly. Such neglect leaves your BCDR plan to get buried under more gratifying things such as profits.
We recommend taking the time to thoroughly test your BCDR plan at least once a year to help you mitigate any risks before a disaster actually strikes.
Lack of emergency communication plan/software
The success of your BC plan also depends on timely communication among everyone on the incident response team and the rest of the employees about everyone’s responsibilities. Members of incident management teams should be properly trained on their roles in managing the crisis.
Lack of any communication channels is a significant gap in any business continuity plan.
Continually updating and testing your incident management plan will allow your organization to adapt to new and rising threats. Having certain forms of communication set up to alert everyone during an emergency is also critical in responding quickly and efficiently. It’s hard to predict the occurrence of specific threats. However, if your incident management plan includes all of the above elements, you will be ready to maneuver through any unanticipated business disruption.