Hurricane Ian has left an indelible mark on Florida and the Eastern coast. Horrific destruction runs as far as the eye can see down there. Even for those lucky to have been out of the storm’s path, it leads to an important question:
What would happen to my business if disaster struck?
The answer is: You would be OK if you had an effective business continuity strategy. Perhaps you have one. If you do, you must know that it’s effective.
According to Ready.gov, an official website of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, an effective business continuity strategy has four steps.
- Undergo a business impact analysis to identify time-sensitive or vital business functions and processes and the resources that support them. This includes:
- Developing a questionnaire
- Conducting a workshop to teach business function and process managers how to complete the business impact analysis
- Receiving and reviewing the completed questionnaire forms
- Conduct follow-up interviews to make sure the information you received is valid. This will also help you fill in any information gaps.
- Identify, document, and implement after your business impact analysis to recover crucial business functions and processes. This includes:
- Identifying and documenting resource requirements based on the business impact analysis
- Finding any gaps between recovery requirements and what you’re currently capable of
- Exploring recovery strategy options
- Selecting strategies from those options with management approval
- Implementing it
- Assemble a business continuity team and create a business continuity plan to manage the disruption. This includes:
- Developing a plan framework
- Organizing recovery teams
- Developing plans for relocation
- Writing out your business continuity and IT disaster recovery procedures
- Make sure you note the manual workarounds
- Once the plan is assembled, validate it and then gain management approval
- Conduct training for the business continuity team, testing, and exercises to evaluate recovery strategies and the plan. This includes:
- Developing the testing and exercise, and maintenance requirements
- Conducting training for the business continuity team
- Kicking off orientation exercises
- Conducting testing and then documenting the results
- Updating your business continuity plan with what you’ve learned after the testing and exercises
If current events remind us of anything, disaster can strike at any point in time. While you may not have to worry about the impacts of deadly Hurricane Ian, you never know what’s around the bend.
Be sure to have an effective business continuity strategy ready to go. It’s much better to have one and not need it than vice versa.