If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that you can never be too prepared. As a business, being prepared means many things, but the pandemic has also demonstrated how crucial it is to be ready to respond to disruption from a crisis or disaster. Whether it’s a pandemic, natural disaster, human negligence, or cyberattack, your business needs to be prepared to continue operations during the aftermath. Unfortunately, many companies are not ready for such an event. According to a recent survey by global consultancy firm Mercer, 51 percent of businesses had no plan in place for how to address an emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Having an effective business continuity plan in place will enable your company to operate and perform its critical business functions with minimal impact flowing an emergency event. But what qualifies as an ‘effective’ business continuity plan? Here are some of the keys to a strong, robust strategy, one that will help keep your operations going under any circumstances.

Make business continuity a high priority – For your strategy to be prioritized appropriately, it will require buy-in from the top. Senior management must carry the flag for your business continuity plan, championing it at the highest level. This support will ensure the plan receives the proper funding, resources, training, and attention it needs to adequately protect your operations.

Identify your company’s essential services and functions – Carefully examine your operations and identify your core needs. Which of your business processes are mission-critical and would cause the most harm should they not be able to resume. After identifying those services that you cannot operate without, and other functions they are dependent on, create processes and procedures that will enable you to restart each of these essential processes. Make sure you’ll have access to any resources necessary to facilitate these services while operating at less than 100 percent.

Your business continuity plan should always be ongoing and evolving – It would be a huge mistake to create a business continuity plan and think your work was done. A potentially catastrophic mistake. An effective strategy is a fluid entity, one that is always in progress. As anyone in business knows, things change over time. For your plan to be prepared for whatever disruption might be thrown at it, it needs to accommodate change. Your plan should regularly be tested, reviewed, updated, and improved. An effective business continuity plan is never out-of-date.

A business continuity plan is a way for companies to prepare themselves to resume activities after an unforeseen event disrupts your everyday operations. If you would like help with business continuity, disaster recovery, or any other IT services, contact Golden Gate Office Solutions today. We’ve got the resources and expertise to manage your IT infrastructure.