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Business continuity management (BCM)

About business continuity planning

Business continuity planning is the process creating a system of prevention, response, and recovery to enable your organisation to function with as little disruption as possible during an unplanned event.

Whether it is a business, public sector organisation, or charity, you need to know how your business can continue to function during these unplanned events.

Pandemic, flood, cyber-attack, supply chain failure or losing a key employee have the potential to cause considerable disruption.

Preparing for unexpected events​

Companies often fail to prepare for events that can have a significant impact on their operations.

These are just some of the many incidents an organisation needs to consider and plan for.

  • supply chain failure: you do not have access to materials, goods or services
  • utilities outage: you do not have access to electricity, water, internet or telephony services
  • cyber incident: you have suffered a cyber-attack and your systems are unavailable
  • pandemic: has the potential to impact services through our work force. 

Creating a business continuity management plan

Business continuity management is about your organisation assessing risks that could affect it. 

It helps you to identify where your business might be vulnerable and to plan your response to any unplanned event. 

It will help keep the impact of an incident to a minimum, which will help your business to return to normal operations as quickly as possible.

Benefits of creating a business ​​​continuity plan​

The benefits of a business continuity plan include supporting the organisation's strategy, creating a business continuity framework provides assurances that you are taking the needs of your business and stakeholders seriously and addressing operational vulnerabilities.

The overarching framework that supports your business continuity plan is a Business Continuity Management System or BCMS. There are a number of standards plus guidance which support this process,

ISO 22301 Business Continuity Management

Defines business continuity management as a part of overall risk management in a company, partially overlapping with information security management and IT management. Implementation and certification are useful to prove your company's compliance to your partners, owners, and other stakeholders.

BCI (Business Continuity Institute) Good Practice Guidelines

The BCI Good Practice Guidelines are designed to provide assistance in understanding the application of 6 Business Continuity Management stages. With these 6 principles, the process and terminology of Business Continuity Management are explained and recommendations for good practice are also provided. The guidelines aim to be applicable to all organisations, regardless of size or industry sector, and are intended for use by business continuity management practitioners, risk managers, auditors, and regulators.

BCI Good Practice Guidelines

Insurance companies also expect businesses to have these preparations in place more and more.

If you're a larger business, you may need to get specialist help from professional consultants.

How to create your own business continuity​ management plan​

Use the toolkit to help you with creating your own plan

Business continuity toolkit

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