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The start of the year is a great time to review your Business Continuity Plan, or if you don’t have one, to take the time to create this highly important document. 

Firstly, what is a Business Continuity Plan?

A business continuity plan (BCP) is a living breathing document that consists of the critical information an organization needs, to continue operating during an unplanned event:

  • BCP helps in events such as natural disasters, cyber-attacks or a key staff member, piece of equipment or data becomes unavailable.
  • BCP are designed to protect personnel and assets and make sure they can function quickly when disaster strikes.
  • In order for a BCP to remain relevant, they need to be reviewed at least annually and/or when the business changes.

Why do you need a BCP?

Most businesses rely on mission-critical IT systems. Failure to plan for scenarios where these are unavailable can be devastating. IT Centre can advise on how to ensure critical systems remain operational in the event of a disaster or major problem such as a server or network outage by:

  • allowing timely recovery of critical operations.
  • minimising loss.
  • meeting legal and regulatory requirements.

So, what does your plan need to cover? 

IT Systems Audit

An IT Systems audit is a good place to start. Your IT provider can review your systems to make sure they’re meeting your business objectives, ensure you have a secure operation by creating reference documents, as well as recommending improvements. 

Inventory Audit

This can be done in conjunction with your IT provider. They will do an audit of your existing IT equipment, the date it was installed, and therefore when it is likely to need replacing based on its expected life. 

This Inventory Audit needs to be revised every year for both your BCP and for budgeting purposes.

This list can help you have a clear and actionable plan on existing equipment, when warranties expire, and the requirements for a staggered plan for new hardware, as well as your business plans for growth.

Your BCP should also record the software that you use, as well as information around your antivirus updates.

If you already have an established BCP make sure:

  • It is up to date, and has been tested. 
  • Look at both the best and worst case scenarios. 
  • Understand your risks and apportion the appropriate resources to minimize those risks.
  • Make the plan proactive.
  • Know your suppliers, providers and have updated contact information. 

Ask these questions:

  • Is our BCP still relevant to our business? 
  • Has our business changed and/or grown so much that we need to update the business plan?

To Summarise: 

Most importantly have a plan, revise it, communicate it to your team, know what to do, and who to call. 

If you don’t know where to start, or would like advice, feel free to reach out to us here at IT Centre. For more information contact us here or visit our page here for more information.