What is business continuity management?

A vital component of any healthy organization, business continuity management is the process of developing systems of prevention and recovery in response to potential threats a company can face. For most organizations, these threats include IT related issues, an interruption to a utility, a supply chain disruption, or a natural disaster. Business continuity management is a crucial subset of risk management.

We all want to do our best to prevent issues, but just as important is planning for worst-case scenarios. If your organization isn’t prepared for what should happen when these threats occur, the outcomes can be far worse than they normally would be.

Business continuity management ensures that you have properly identified risks and their impact to your company, formulated and implemented plans to dictate response to the threat, and continually assess these plans for their effectiveness.

The Value of Business Continuity Management

When it comes to being prepared, the benefits always drastically outweigh the negatives. This is the same for the value of business continuity with an enterprise-wide scope.

The first and possibly most influential reason to make business continuity management a priority is due to legal and regulatory compliance. With over 100 regulations mandating business continuity management, it’s clear that being compliant is the easiest – and cheapest – option for your organization. These regulations include FINRA, NERC, FERC, and HIPAA. The court can fine you for negligence for failing to prepare or plan properly. Cornell Law defines negligence as “A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.  The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act.”

The second motivator is to meet the demands businesses have for their vendors. Companies require potential vendors to provide evidence of business continuity management programs in place, so if you’re wanting to grow your business, you’ll need to hop on the train. Providing proof of a business continuity plan will also prove beneficial as part of a value proposition, checking another box on the requirements list.

We’ve mentioned how the government expects a business continuity plan and other companies expect it as well, but you should be your own greatest motivator! By doing so, you’re saving yourself a headache and a large chunk of cash in the future. Your plan will include a communication plan, which is critical during the response phase to minimize risk to your assets. This is like boarding an airplane and the crew explain how to react in an emergency. If they were to wait until an incident, it is unlikely everyone would remain in their seats, put on their oxygen masks, and assume the crash position, and instead run around screaming. Similarly, if you don’t prep your employees for an incident, you risk amplifying the problem.

Creating your Strategy

As you craft your business continuity plan, you’ll need to assess your facilities to first determine your risks, the impact they can have, and the importance of that facility. Identifying your most critical facilities and functions helps you distribute resources and determine appropriate responses.  From there your organization will determine how much time you will a lot to fix the situation to prevent the most disruption to your business operations.

Use a free trial of SecureWatch to see how risk management software can aid you in completing your business continuity plan. As always, let us know if you have any questions.

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