The Business Continuity Risk is Real Now

We have seen that the threat of epidemics, which we put on many risk analysis document in last decade, turns into a serious reality. The public authority takes measures to combat with epidemic, like closing schools across the country, canceling events and temporary closing some businesses. To protect the human life and health is our priority. The situation the world is passing through is an example of how risks we consider in Business Continuity Plans will turn into severe financial and operational outputs.

Business Continuity Management started as disaster recovery plans in the nineties, then turned into business continuity plans in 2000s. The concept of business continuity, has evolved into crisis management and in the last eight years and it is called “resiliency”. When cloud computing became inevitable, a major obstacle in front of business continuity has been overcome. In addition, we have begun to prepare business continuity plans only for the primary service or products that companies should offer in the event of disaster. This was one of the biggest milestones in business continuity management. Besides all, thinking of alternatives for the following five will help you manage your business continuity in a simple way today.

  • Building
  • Equipment
  • Technology
  • Employees
  • Third Parties

When we consider the threat of epidemics, you can start by thinking equipment alternatives like laptops. It is always better to keep spare laptops for staff who want to work at home. A large part of your company should be ready for home office and your VPN infrastructure should be competent to handle every request. This is made possible by redundancy and competency of your technology. Your authorization and authentication processes must be designed accordingly. It is important to ensure that previously created VPN accounts can be easily activated when you kick off your business continuity plans.

Another challenge you may encounter is online meeting platforms. It is crucial to ensure these platforms are pre-installed, tested, and all our of your employees must be informed. Online meetings will also enable a positive team spirit as it creates a “social” environment.

It has always been difficult to ensure the resiliency of third parties. Your domestic or foreign supplier/service provider is experiencing the same COVID-19 threat as you are now facing. Even under these circumstances, there are methods to reduce third party risks. I am not saying it is easy, however companies that are prepared will survive easier.

One of the most important thing in business continuity is awareness. If the business continuity is not a part of your corporate culture, it will not benefit your company during a crisis. Testing is also the primary method of learning and automatically reacting to crisis. It is always better to do a terrible business continuity test than doing nothing.

Adopt an open management approach during crisis. The past is filled with wrecks of companies that can not manage crisis. First, inform your customers about the situation. If you let home office working, provide information to customers on how you continue to run your operation. Bring your business continuity committee members together. If you do not have a committee, frequently evaluate the current situation at the senior management level and inform your employees and customers. Prepare a medical emergency to-do list, repeat public authority’s hygiene and health information within the company. If there is no possibility to work home office, review office hygiene standards and ensure that standards recommended by the authorities are applied.

I see global companies have launched support funds for their employees. In this regard, public authorities and also private firms must take action in order to protect the labor force’s rights and income.