The rapid outbreak of coronavirus is a crisis we're just beginning to grapple with. All over the world, people are either under lockdown or in self-isolation. In addition to its social impact, COVID-19 has caught many businesses flat-footed. Given today's ultra-competitive market, a solid business continuity plan is essential to build employee resilience, and keep operations going.
What is a business continuity plan and is it only at an organization level?
A business continuity plan (BCP) outlines the processes and procedures that a company must follow when faced with any malicious attack, like data breaches, malware attacks, natural disasters, or common human errors and system failures.
Most people think the restoration of IT infrastructure and operations is BCP, but disaster recovery is just one part of the plan. BCP is more holistic, considering all areas of a business, including daily functions, and helping operations continue through the disruption.
For example, in the event of a problem, HR needs to decide if employees can work from home or from a different location. The accounts department should know how they'll manage cash flow. And an ecommerce firm must have plans in place for undisrupted transportation of goods.
Therefore, a BCP spans an organization, and it's essential to include plans at both organizational and departmental levels. They must all be continuously reviewed, and changed according to a changing environment. And any changes must be communicated to stakeholders, so that they're better prepared when disaster strikes.
This is where automating these procedures and processes with a workflow automation tool like Orchestly can be of immense help.
How can Orchestly help overcome some of the common challenges in BCP?
While you may have specialized tools for your individual business units, a process management platform like Orchestly can bring together all people and tools. It can essentially act as the command center of your business continuity operations.
Increase visibility and compliance - Automating your plans for business continuity using Orchestly's robust process designer increases the visibility and transparency of your plans across the organization. Its enterprise-level capabilities also support the corporate compliance initiatives required in challenging environments. You can automate tasks that don't require human input, control who can access what, record electronic signatures when required, and stay audit ready.
Reduce training time - It's not enough to simply map out your business continuity plan. You also have to train your employees on what to do, and when. With all recovery processes and procedures captured in Orchestly, and stakeholders assigned to every stage, employees know exactly what they should be doing. They can also access all relevant information required from their peers and other third-party tools, right from within Orchestly.
Review and improve - BCP is not something that can be done once and tabled forever. It's an evolving, recurring process that requires regular reviews to protect your organization from vulnerabilities. Mapping it on Orchestly ensures that you review risk profiles, current methodologies, and technological responses as feasibly as possible. Orchestly's intuitive drag and drop interface also helps you implement quick changes to your recovery plans as a response to opportunities and challenges, as well as better understand their impact.
Ensure enterprise-wide consistency - Organizations today are more geographically dispersed than ever before, and this comes with challenges. Bringing everyone together on Orchestly ensures that there's consistency in the approach, planning, and implementation of business continuity plans. And these plans can always be modified to include region-specific requirements, as well.
Manage critical service providers - It's not enough that your organization is ready for disruptions. It's equally important to understand your vendors' capacity threshold, plans, and preparedness to deal with disasters. With Orchestly, you can digitize your vendor management process and ensure that you have alternate supply arrangements to minimize the impact of unforeseen threats.
Eliminate ineffective paper runbooks - Rather than documenting all the important BCP processes in a massive paper runbook, Orchestly can help map all your recovery processes as a flowchart online, involve relevant stakeholders throughout, and ensure that the processes and procedures are followed to a T.
A complete business continuity plan is one that considers all these points, and when this is done, you can ensure a fast, thorough recovery. Digitize your BC/DR plans with Orchestly and achieve a constant state of readiness.