Business continuity management has long been an essential component of business management. However, within the current context of COVID-19, it takes on new importance.
No business owners or enterprise professionals will ever recall a time like this. Workforces across the world are redeployed to work from home. Many members of staff have been stood down or let go. In fact, businesses are now doing whatever they can to survive this unprecedented crisis.
This is business continuity management. And all of a sudden, it’s everybody’s job, with Google searches peaking in the past month.
What is business continuity management
According to Tech Target, business continuity management (BCM) is “a framework for identifying an organization’s risk of exposure to internal and external threats.”
“The goal of BCM is to provide the organization with the ability to effectively respond to threats such as natural disasters or data breaches and protect the business interests of the organization.”
In this article, we’re going to look at how organizations should structure their business continuity management — and how to optimize it.
A 4-step business continuity management framework
1. Assess the risk
Step one of the business continuity management framework is to conduct a risk assessment. This includes:
- Evaluation of company risks and exposures
- Identifying the most likely threats
- Assessment of telecommunication recovery options and communication plans
- Reporting on findings
2. Do a BIA
Step 2 is to do a BIA, which stands for business impact analysis. According to Gartner, a BIA determines “the criticality of business activities and associated resource requirements to ensure operational resilience and continuity of operations during and after a business disruption.”
In other words, you need to assess the impact that potential threats could have on the business.
Your BIA should include the following:
- Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO)
- Any processes and workflows categorized as ‘critical’
- Interdependencies and essential staff
3. Develop a plan
Now, you can develop your business continuity plan (BCP). This is what you’ll turn to in times of crisis. It will contain the key data points and roadmaps required for disaster response.
In a nutshell, this part of the process aligns the risk assessment and BIA to create an actionable and thorough plan. It’s the time to go into detail, outlining division and site-level plans.
It’s important that the plan is reviewed with key stakeholders and disseminated for training to all staff members.
4. Test and adjust
Your BCP is only ever as good as its execution, so it’s essential to test the plan regularly. Any friction or hiccups can be ironed out to ensure a seamless flow in the event of a real disaster.
COVID-19 is testing the crisis management and business continuity plans of many organizations. Whether you have a plan in place or not, the current crisis may be forcing you to reconsider your assumptions or explore new measures. Learn more: https://t.co/rIUbxo29H0 pic.twitter.com/FqI0FuVlZF— BlackBerry (@BlackBerry) April 20, 2020
How to optimize your business continuity management
In the wake of the COVID-19 global crisis, enterprises everywhere have closed their office doors and set up a work-at-home workforce as part of their business continuity management.
This is not as easy as it sounds.
For organizations relying on traditional enterprise applications and hardware, this requires an enormous digital transformation in a very short space of time.
We’re seeing significant changes to business operations all over the world, impacting:
- Business models
Available for Windows, MAC, and Web, WalkMe Workstation (part of WalkMe Desktop) brings WalkMe’s guidance solution to Desktop applications. Enterprises can guide their users through Desktop applications, wherever they are, and show notifications right on the user’s screen.
At a time when an organization’s success or failure – indeed its very survival – rests on how effectively its workforce can adapt to remote working conditions, digital adoption solutions like WalkMe’s Workstation have become invaluable to business continuity planning.
As part of the 4-step framework for business continuity management, enterprises need to invest wisely in tools and technology that will empower their remote workforce. Digital transformation is now essential. Time has run out. Enterprises must adapt or die.
For traditional enterprises struggling to respond to the context of COVID-19, WalkMe’s blog provides plenty of valuable tips and advice on digital adoption and digital transformation.
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.