Even though it is a faded memory today but, when you look back at the time when the financial capital of the world – New York City – was nearly brought to its knees by Mother Nature, those were difficult times. The hurricane ‘Sandy’ had badly flooded NYC subways and tunnels. It had blacked out a major part of Lower Manhattan. The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaqdata were closed for two days. The storm cost New York State a staggering $32 billion, New York City $19 billion and the U.S. economy an estimated $65 billion.
Once the storm had passed, the financial services industry scrambled to recover. There were many firms and institutions who came to the quick realization that they had not been prepared for the business disruptions.
Once this phase was over, everyone began to plan for the next potential crisis.
Each and every business faces some or the other challenges. There also exist potential risk factors which have the ability to cause significant setback, or even utter ruination, should they come to pass.
This is where being vigilant and prepared comes to the rescue. It is evident that preparedness is the key to mitigating risks, avoiding disaster, and having a plan in place to cope and recover when unprecedented setbacks occur. Regardless of the type of business, keeping a business continuity plan in place is vital.
Why Business Continuity?
Business continuity planning is one of the most important components of any recovery plan. Sadly, not every company develops a continuity plan. The reason for this is that there are a lot of myths and wrong information doing the rounds. These need to be cleared first.
Myth #1: Our employees and institution will know what to do in an emergency
Even when you have the best of the best employees in house, they cannot be expected to know what to do when disaster strikes. When you leave each to respond in his or her own way, it only accumulates the confusion of an event. Instead, one should focus on having a a well-documented business continuity plan in advance, and train their employees to follow it, get everyone on the same page, ensuring an organized, safe and timely recovery.
Myth #2: Insurance will cover the losses
It is important to understand that insurance alone is NOT a business continuity strategy. Having proper coverage is an important part of the plan. But, this alone cannot fully cover some of the peripheral damages from an event, like loss of customers, loss of market share, or setbacks in development or release of a new product. The most recent being COVID-19 pandemic. The economic loss across the globe is evident today.
Myth #3: Developing a business continuity plan is time consuming
Even though it takes time and effort in coming up with a solid plan, every second that you spent developing and maintaining a business continuity plan is an investment in your company. The fixed costs will continue after an event, whether or not you are open for business. What’s important is how fast you can return your operations to normal. Because this will pave the path to recover from the event successfully. When you have so much at stake, the company cannot afford to not have a plan.
Myth #4: Disaster recovery planning and business continuity are the same
The path of business continuity is a proactive plan which helps avoid and mitigate risks associated with a disruption of operations. What it does is that it lays down steps to be taken before, during and after an event to maintain the financial viability of an organization.
On the other hand, a disaster recovery plan is a reactive plan for responding after an event. Once an event has occurred, this plan deals with the safety and restoration of critical personnel, locations, and operational protocols after a disaster has taken place. It is a part of the business continuity plan.
None of us have the ability to look into the future with crystal clear sight. Every single second of the future is a mystery. As humans, though we do not have the ability to predict the future completely, we definitely have the ability to plan for the future should an event take place that has the potential to disrupt the existing standards.
The global pandemic has forced many companies to work from home. Those not completely involved in IT functions are finding it difficult to manage their operations from home. We have mobile phones and laptops available today, but when it comes to integrating the company environment in those devices, companies with non-IT background can feel intimidated. Having the right kind of enterprise mobility services in place can help them scale fast and not disrupt their everyday work.