6 Things the COVID-19 Crisis Taught Us About Business Continuity
Business continuity planning or BCP, as it is popularly abbreviated as, refers to creating suitable business systems that help manage emergencies. Such situations may be caused by natural disasters, pandemics like COVID-19, and others, and are a potential threat to a business organization’s proper functioning. Businesses must continue to operate even when there is a crisis or disaster. Business continuity plans chart out the steps the organization must take to ensure its operations remain unaffected when such an event like the COVID-19 occurs.
COVID-19 has been a real eye-opener for many business organizations out there for proper BCP documentation. It has taught businesses many valuable lessons, the most critical of which are as follows:
1. Be Ready For The Worst
Many businesses disregarded the importance of BCP before COVID-19. Even organizations with BCP were not planning for a crisis so overwhelming and with such wide-spread economic effects as COVID-19. But that should not prevent you from preparing now for the future. Successive health-related disasters like SARS, H1N1 before COVID-19 has proved that such unforeseeable events might recur in the future as well. It will be wise for a business to stay one step ahead and plan for them. These outbreaks differ a lot, but they provide impact predictors that will help your business keep its activities on track. It makes you prepared for the next time a similar outbreak occurs.
2. Set Internal BCP Plans
Once you have started work on your BCP, you need to decide the exact actions to be taken by your organization’s members when emergencies arise. You need to figure out essential operational activities, anything your business needs to continue its presence. Not only that, you need internal recovery strategies that will help your operations get back on track when it has met with a setback. Such plans include:
Risk Management: Most large corporate organizations already have in place a disaster management team. Make sure that this team has all the relevant strategies in place. They need to be reviewed regularly and made part of the organizational BCP.
You need to ensure that you have figured out the following aspects of your BCP:
Core services the organization needs to continue
How company staff will work under the emergency conditions
How to look after employee health and safety
The potential financial impact of the event
3. Implement The BCP
If you don’t put in place the infrastructure and mechanisms necessary for your BCP to work, it will help only so much. Businesses in the post-COVID-19 world face severe issues related to productivity, health, and well being and economic impact. Rather than waiting for the next such event to happen, it’s crucial to start preparing now.
4. Cloud Desktops Might Be Critically Important
Suppose you are looking for desktop solutions for your BCP needs. In that case, the appropriate cloud desktop solution is not just meant to patch up the process for the time being. You need to choose the cloud service judiciously after assessing the different approaches and the reliability and performance they offer. You need to realize the fact that managing computing devices through the cloud is an attractive option open to you.
5. Relay Critical Information In Real-Time
One critical aspect of business continuity is facilitating the flow of essential information through the workplace. COVID-19 has been there for a year now, and there is an overload of available information. Such excess information negatively affects your business, as not all information sources are reliable and accurate. Instead, the government media channels are a better information source and ensure all employees have been relayed the latest updates from authorities, preferably in real-time.
6. Transform Business Strategy For Emergency Situations
COVID-19 has taught businesses just how comprehensively emergencies and natural disasters can disrupt companies. At first, only China-based supply chains were affected. Still, with the outbreak spreading to the US and Europe, businesses experienced operations disruptions too. Consumer demand in various sectors saw radical changes also. Such troubles make it necessary to stay a step ahead of information wise.
The need for effective and robust BCP provisions have never been so acutely felt as it is now. However, businesses should recognize how it critically underscores such planning and the assistance it provides in updating the same. The past year has been a real eye-opener in this regard. As they say, failure in planning is not so different from planning to fail. Let the points we have shed light on in the above paragraphs guide you. Feel free to improvise and adjust according to particular conditions and organizational situations. Recognize the opportunity for growth that a crisis presents with itself!
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