Workers reviewing their business continuity management plan

Business continuity management ensures that a business can continue its operations in the event of an emergency, such as a cyberattack or natural disaster. In an era in which cybersecurity and climate change are increasingly important topics across the supply chain, business continuity management combines the areas of business continuity, disaster recovery, crisis management, and emergency response. A sound business continuity management or disaster recovery policy should outline potential threats, both cyber and physical, and plans of action. That plan of action should include what preventative measures are already in place (e.g. virus monitoring software or a physical disaster recovery site) and instructions to manage employees, suppliers, and customers. Identifying threats and how they will impact the business prepares the business for what will happen and allows for the opportunity to create a strong and clear response strategy. Having this type of plan in place is a crucial item for any business that is looking to become SOC 2 Type 2 compliant.

The plan of action should provide a framework that protects stakeholders, customers, reputation, and operations. Continuity management varies from business to business, as based on industry and company standards, priorities will be different. In the business of printing and mailing, especially for critical documents such as invoices, utility bills, jury summons, and annual tax documents, business continuity management is paramount.

Impact on Businesses

Business continuity management allows businesses to identify risks and prepare for them before they happen. Businesses like Information Outsource, which focus on the timely, accurate, and reliable delivery of critical communications, have to be sure that their clients receive uninterrupted service no matter the circumstances.

Though disasters are theoretically long-tail events that rarely occur, businesses need to prepare for any possible scenario that will affect their operations and – by extension – their clients. By ensuring that operations are protected from external interruption, the business will protect its reputation, maintain revenue streams, and comply with legal regulations.

Protect Your Reputation

For customers and other key stakeholders to trust your business, you must show that you can successfully overcome challenges. Developing a disaster recovery and business continuity plan does just that, as it guarantees that your business keeps running no matter what happens. Also, displaying your business’s security and compliance standards or practices is great for instilling trust in your work and services.

Demonstrate to those within your organization and outside of it that you prioritize people. This will make employees feel appreciated and humanize the brand image. Ensure that affected clients that their business is valuable and that you are taking all possible safeguarding measures. It is important to include reputational risk management in your plan, so it is prioritized just as much as other areas of business.

Maintain Revenue Streams

When your business halts operation, you stop making money, it’s as simple as that. Further, that interruption in operations – if not handled appropriately – can harm your reputation with customers and therefore threaten future opportunities. Thus, creating a disaster recovery and business continuity plan will allow you to maintain revenue streams with continued operation. Information Outsource did just that when a six-alarm fire at a neighboring business threatened the loss of crucial data. As power was cut off to our building, our servers were at risk of shutting down. However, we had planned for this type of emergency, and our backup generators quickly took over before any damage was caused. Had they failed, we also have a Disaster Recovery Facility with backup servers that would prevent any data loss. We made sure to communicate with any affected clients, however, most were unaware that any disaster had occurred. This is how business continuity management will help you maintain revenue streams and establish trust with your customers.

Comply with Regulations

Man uses a whiteboard to create a plan

There are many legal regulations that businesses must comply with when developing a disaster recovery and business continuity plan. Failing to do so could result in considerable fines and reprimands. Plus, without this kind of plan in place, no business can become SOC 2 Type 2 certified. There are over 120 industries with business continuity management regulations, including finance, energy, healthcare, and international business. Even if your company does not fall within the aforementioned industries, it is likely regulated. Since there are regular changes to legislation, be sure to stay up to date on what is required. The Business Continuity Institute (BCI) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) are great resources for reliable information.

Boon for Clients

Business continuity management doesn’t just benefit the business, but the customer as well. It allows for the protection of critical functions and ensures the continuity of operations, which means uninterrupted service. Thus, the same benefits of protecting reputation and maintaining revenue streams are passed on to the customer. Continuity management also benefits the industry, as operation interruptions can have a ripple effect on other businesses. Industries and economies are interconnected, relying on every player to uphold their end. Thus, when disaster recovery and business continuity plans are used to ensure smooth operation, the entire industry is protected.

Beneficial for All

Business continuity management is a crucial area of business that benefits many. Disaster can strike at any time, and to protect your business, you must prepare for it. Creating a solid disaster recovery and business continuity plan will protect customers, stakeholders, reputation, and operations alike while also allowing your company to obtain valuable accolades, like becoming SOC 2 Type 2 certified. When you keep things running smoothly, you can provide uninterrupted service for your clients as well. This will also benefit their industry, as a sense of trust and reliability is gained by overcoming obstacles.

Information Outsource prioritizes our clients. Read more about how our Business Continuity Management allowed us to successfully continue operations amid a local fire emergency.

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