Internal Control System

Business Continuity Plan Software

Why Manage a Business Continuity Plan?

The fact is that disasters, large and small, happen. Anything from a power failure to a natural disaster or war can affect your organization's ability to continue providing its products and services to customers.

If your capability of providing your products or services to your customers is disrupted, this can harm anyone depending on your organization, including employees and customers. For this reason, it serves an organization well to have some kind of business continuity plan. It doesn't have to be extremely large or complex, as you might expect of a financial organization like a bank, but having a clear and sensible business continuity plan should give peace of mind to management, board and customers alike.

Apart from peace of mind, having a business continuity plan is good for business. It may encourage customers to buy from you and even more importantly, having a BC plan will prepare you for the disaster we all hope won't happen and ultimately do what its name suggests - ensure the continuation of your business.

Setting Up a BC Plan Using Risk Management

The basic idea of a business continuity plan is to identify some bad things - potential events - that might happen and then see what you can do to prevent them. And if you can't prevent them, then think what you can do to soften the blow when they come.

A risk is a potential event but one day it might just happen. Business continuity management is closely related to risk management, so much so in fact that a comprehensive risk management program can answer most if not all of the requirements of a business continuity plan and it does it in a particularly organized and logical way.

Every paragraph in a plan of things that might affect business continuity can be expressed as a risk and every paragraph of how to prevent those things happening or reduce the impact if they do can be expressed as a control, or internal control, including the corrective action required if the preventative measure - the control - is not in place.

Objective Controls is one tool that can help get a BC plan up and running quickly and can help you keep such a plan updated and relevant. The process is simple and done in a few steps as follows:
  1. Sit and think of some things that might go wrong and disrupt your business (e.g. power failure).
  2. Add them as risks (e.g. risk of power failure).
  3. Then, if you can, add 1 or 2 controls that can help prevent the event from occurring.
  4. Then add 1 or 2 controls that can cushion the blow if the event occurs. This is the contingency planning part of your BC plan.
  5. To make it even easier, you will find some sample risks and controls in the Objective Controls customer portal. You can copy them directly into your BC / risk management environment.
  6. And there you have it! An easy to read business continuity plan available to anyone you choose to share it with

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