The idea or concept of Business Continuity or a Business Continuity Plan is often seen by small to medium-sized businesses as not important or relevant to them; they’re just a small fish in a big bond and these global disasters are likely to have a bigger affect on the FTSE 500 than them.
The truth is, even the biggest businesses have neglected their plans during the pandemic.
If we think about disruptions that have occurred across the last year, a lot of them have been widespread and impacted businesses of all sizes. But perhaps for the first time, there is an opportunity for small businesses to utilise best practice, and start adopting a resilient culture now.
From large multinational corporations, right down to the small family-owned businesses, everyone has been affected. It’s easy to focus on the big disruptions, but every day businesses are subjected to yet another disruption from cyber-attacks, system outages, supply chain issues, or even a burst pipe running out into the office.
Some of these disruptions stand alone and are faced on top of the major disruptions we’re dealing with, such as losing access to email systems, or access to seeing the team face to face again.
These are flow-on effects from our major disruptions such as; needing to wait for telecommunication networks to be rebuilt after bushfires destroy the infrastructure, or needing to repair supply chains after they are thrown into disarray from border closures.
I was once being trained on a new system and the question was asked “what happens when this fails?” This was met with some pretty bold statements such as “at our organisation, we don’t have system failures” and “Telstra is more likely to fail than our system”.
Sure enough, a couple of weeks after the system was launched there was an outage that lasted a few hours but affected many of our customers, leaving teams to try and figure out workarounds.
Business Continuity Plans aren’t a one size fits all product. The same style of plan that suits global corporations isn’t going to work for smaller businesses, however we’re seeing the evidence this year that disruptions don’t discriminate, they can hit organisations of all shapes and sizes. Fortunately, plans can also be shaped to organisations of all sizes.
At RiskLogic, one of our smallest clients (in terms of staff) holds four people. They service a global audience in the tens of thousands. So, the argument could be made that their internal structure is so small, they can manage it in an agile, in-house format. Despite that assumption, this client’s plan is comprehensive and has been well tested and used during the supply chain disruptions of COVID-19.
In the big scheme of things, it’s so easy to underestimate the value of Business Continuity. I had a mentor tell me
Business Continuity Plans are the tools required to help businesses collect resilient procedures, but they end collecting dust instead.
But it can be so much more than that. It can help those small businesses thrive through what is likely their toughest battle. It helps large corporates stay on top of what their stakeholders expect of them.
Business Continuity should be and can be used by all, so start yours today!