Accidents happen and there’s little you can do to stop them. However there are precautions you can take which can limit the damage those accidents cause. The most common method is having a business continuity plan in place, so that when a disaster strikes, you are prepared to handle it. Statistics show that 80% of organisations that are faced with a significant business discontinuity, and do not have in place adequate and appropriate plans to ensure business continuity, do not survive the event.
By looking at those statistics, it’s clear that having a business continuity plan is valuable to any organisation, but is it enough? Most organisations can write a BCP themselves but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to work as well as one may have hoped. A BCP needs to be continuously tested, kept up-to-date and integrated with your corporate management systems. If it doesn’t fulfil these requirements, then you might find that when a disaster strikes, your plan is nothing but useless.
This is why a business continuity management system (BCMS) is more effective than just a standalone BCP. It allows an organisation to update and manage much more effective plans whilst taking into account any specific business needs. There are many more benefits to a BCMS than those, especially if it’s compliant with the internationally recognised business continuity standard, ISO 22301.
ISO 22301 was launched in May 2012, replacing the British Standard BS25999. By adhering to this standard, you are demonstrating that you follow best practice and have a consistent approach to business continuity. The long list of benefits this certification provides includes:
- Demonstrates to key stakeholders (customers, suppliers and partners) that your organisation is resilient
- Increases your competitive advantage and enhances your reputation
- Can be aligned and integrated with ISO9001, ISO27001, ISO14001, ISO20000 and ISO28000 management standards to deliver significant benefits
Tony Drewitt, ISO22301 business continuity expert, wrote ‘ISO 22301 A Pocket Guide’ to help organisations gain a better understanding of the business continuity international best practice, including guidance on the best way to implement an ISO 22301 certifiable BCMS.