17 strides towards business resilience
By Catherine McFarland • 27 Feb 2014
A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.
~ U.S. General, George Patton.
Have you thoroughly prepared your organisation’s Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plan? Do you review and test it annually? If so, you’ll have a few strings to your bow already and will be in a much better situation in times of crisis. You can hope to be going great guns in no time at all instead of being caught off your guard and forced to fight an uphill battle.
Here are 17 steps to keep your business purse and reputation firmly in your sights.
Dodge the bullet
- Make sure your plan mitigates any risk to your clients’ business.
- Check that you have qualified the impact on your business of losing a critical customer or channel.
- If you are reliant on a critical supplier providing you with a key service or product, quantify the impact on your business were you to lose them. How long would it take you to find an alternative source?
- Assess the current financial health of your suppliers. Are there any potential cutbacks in their pipeline that may affect your business?
- Identify how potential cutbacks in your business could render you vulnerable.
- Ask your insurance company whether they would contribute to the cost of developing a business continuity capability. Ask if having a business continuity policy would reduce the cost of your premiums.
- Consider whether your staff contracts give you the flexibility your business needs in terms of working hours, location and role to deal with a significant disruption.
- Make sure your staff contact details are up-to-date, with more than one way of contacting them. Inform staff of what to do if the office is inaccessible.
- If you have to let staff go, make sure you’ve audited the skills you’re losing.
- Make sure all critical information is backed up and accessible offsite.
- If you haven’t already, consider moving away from an exclusively on-premise IT infrastructure to a hosted or hybrid solution/platform, with applications available in the cloud and accessible from anywhere with an internet connection
- Consider alternative office options for your business. What about a reciprocal arrangement with customers or suppliers?
Keep your powder dry
- If you’ve made the decision to close down sites or facilities, make sure that you have updated your plans to handle any site-based disruptions.
- Establish dialogue with your local emergency services to understand what they can offer and how they are likely to respond in an emergency. Check with your local council for details on Local Resilience Forums.
- Consider all the situations where negative stories could emerge. For example via the media, social media, local bodies or industry associations.
- Prepare your PR messaging for each stakeholder group.
- Make sure your spokespeople are trained to deal with the media.
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