We live in an ‘always on’ world
Shops are open 7 days per week. Fresh coffee is available on every corner. TV can be streamed on-demand. Our cars are almost maintenance-free and Amazon can deliver whatever you like within 24 hours.
The ‘always on’ or ‘always available’ lifestyle, for most of us, is a reality. As a result, our customers’ tolerance for failure is getting lower. Their ability to switch to alternatives is almost without limit. They are fickle.
In the past few days, we have seen Coronavirus start to spread in the UK, causing the closure of a doctors surgery in Brighton. At the same time, Storm Ciara has been wreaking havoc on businesses, transport and homeowners. Meanwhile, hundreds of office workers were evacuated in Croydon due to a bomb scare.
From a business perspective, there will always be risks that could lead to Business Interruption. But most of these (or certainly the impact they would cause) can be mitigated.
Planning for Business Interruption
So, rather than bury your head in the sand and hope it won’t be you, what can you do? Why not gather your team together for a meeting to answer these questions…
- What do we need to keep the lights on? – Think about your company, department, service and the critical resources (people, property, systems, suppliers, utilities, materials etc) required to function. Make a list.
- What are the key risks that could impact critical resources? – For example, a minimum of 4 staff are needed in the office to deliver the service and what if the office is unavailable (fire, flood, denial of access, quarantine due to Coronavirus etc). Make a list.
- What Mitigations do we have in place? – For each risk identify the mitigations you have in place. In the office example, the mitigation could be to work from home. What additional mitigations do you need? Make a list.
- Will our plan work? – Hopefully, you won’t need to enact your plan for real, so the next best thing is to run a test. Start off with a ‘desktop’ test where you talk through a Business Interruption scenario and find answers to the problems. Next time around, add realism by enacting some of your mitigations. Try sending staff to work from home, recover data from a backup etc.
As a leading provider of managed Business Continuity services, we would love to help you with this process. Please call if you need help, but we also know that for most businesses, management time and budgets are tight.
Whichever way you choose to proceed, please, please, please put some time aside to create a plan for Business Interruption. Think of Business Continuity like Life Insurance – every year that goes by and you don’t need it is a Win!