The effectiveness of a business continuity plan is measured by an organization’s ability to continue operations and maintain solvency, regardless of critical events and the circumstances – both expected and unknown – leading to them. What does it take? Proactive preparation and the resources to put your plan in motion are at the core.
Here are five tips that can help improve your business continuity strategy, and how you can make them work for you:
1. Confluence is inevitable: Prepare for interconnected critical events.
- How do your different departments affect each other’s operations and delivery metrics?
- Have you mapped out how a critical event in one sector might affect outcomes in another?
- What’s your plan to isolate critical events and prevent them from escalating and/or creating derivative emergencies?
Nearly three-quarters of firms experienced at least two types of incidents in the last 18 months, and more than one-third experienced three incidents in that timeframe. – Failing To Plan Is Planning To Fail, Forrester Consulting 
2. Communication is key: Consider all stakeholders.
- What’s your plan to deal with events that have ramifications for internal and external stakeholders, i.e., employees, supply chain and customers?
- How will you ensure everyone receives procedural instructions, safety directives and status updates as a dynamic situation unfolds?
- When it comes to customers and investors, have you considered how you will deliver the right messaging to protect your organization’s reputation during a crisis?
The most common impact of incidents on organizations is damage to the company’s reputation, followed by operational disruption and threats to employee safety and morale. – Failing To Plan Is Planning To Fail, Forrester Consulting
3. Learn from history: Stay connected to the growing complexity of risk.
- Can you identify the biggest changes in your industry in the past two to five years?
- Where have those changes created new or increased risk?
- What benchmark events (in your organization, your industry and the overall business environment) can you identify and utilize to gather lessons learned?
Only 30 percent of organizations are very confident they can handle the increasing complexity of risk management in the future. – Failing To Plan Is Planning To Fail, Forrester Consulting
4. Know your repercussions: Set aside funds to cover potential damages.
- Have you analyzed your areas of impact?
- What are their expected associated damages and how much do you estimate resolution will cost?
- Does your recovery budget correspond to the breadth and likelihood of each set of potential damages?
Every category of extreme weather or natural disaster increased year over year, leading to a possible $2.5 million in damages on average. – CEO Brief: Global Risk Impact Report
5. Take advantage of technology: Get the right resources.
- Is your existing critical event management (CEM) platform easy to use and reliable, enabling you to rapidly reach everyone?
- Are you aware of the advances in AI and risk intelligence and their measurable advantages in quickly detecting threats and improving efficient responses?
- Do you have the ability to see a big-picture overview of your threat landscape before, during and after a critical event?
Organizations with advanced CEM capabilities were 72 percent more likely to say their CEM program reduces the impact of a critical event to business operations. –Failing To Plan Is Planning To Fail, Forrester Consulting
Learn more about strengthening organizational resilience and improving business continuity in our ebook.
 A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of OnSolve