In light of Business Continuity Week, which just passed, the BSI Group, the business standards company, is urging organizations to take advantage of robust continuity strategies to create a strong foundation for growth.
Primarily the role of business continuity management (BCM) is seen as a risk mitigation tool to ensure the continued operation of a business in the face of unexpected events and adversity – whether natural or man-made.
However there is huge potential for organizations to take the BCM methodology further by building on robust plans and strengthening organizational capability to respond to opportunities as well as threats.
"Companies need to be braver and recognize the broader benefits that BCM can bring," said BSI Commercial Director Gary Robinson. "Any organization that has an acute understanding of business risks, a solid back-up plan and tried and tested processes already in place is going to be well positioned to propel its business forwards."
"Research* suggests that agile companies which put in place effective management processes and structured continuity plans, have the flexibility to respond to challenges and are not only more likely to survive, but in many cases grow."
In support of the Business Continuity Institute's awareness campaign this week BSI recommends the following tips for business growth:
1. Recognize the importance of having continuity plans for your business, not forgetting that unforeseen events can have both a negative and a positive impact on your organization
2. Adopt a common framework, such as the international standard for business continuity management, ISO 22301
3. Recognize that disruption can be caused by a wide range of factors – both positive and negative - to ensure you understand what you need to do as an organization to maintain or ramp up the delivery of critical services or products following an unexpected event
4. Identify any threats and weaknesses in the business and eliminate them. This will allow the organization to focus on growth and development
5. Assess the potential sources of business disruption and build organizational capability to respond to emerging opportunities and threats
6. Review which suppliers are critical to your operations and ensure they have BCM arrangements in place and are able to meet your increasing procurement requirements
7. Ensure that your distribution channels can handle your increased outputs
8. Nothing stands still for long so be sure to review your BCM arrangements regularly
"Aligning your BCM with organizational goals and corporate business strategies is one of the most critical factors for success," said Robinson. "Test the effectiveness of your BCM through regular exercises and make sure your suppliers do the same. Your business will then be in the best possible position to capitalize in new opportunities when they arise."