Business Continuity Planning...

For those who are unprotected, the competitive advantage you work so hard to perfect can be undone very quickly, especially if the unexpected happens. It is a wise decision to have business continuity alternatives that ensure your business is well protected against the external risks (fire, flood, fraud etc.) that challenge your stability - and ability to recover. 
What are the risks to business continuity?
  • 70% of UK and global businesses cite IT and communications interruptions as the leading threat, followed by data breach (66%) and cyber-attack (65%).
  • Malicious cyber-attacks over the web are the number one emerging concern; the undecided reputational impact of social media the second; and new regulations and increased regulatory scrutiny comes third.
  • 46% of businesses felt their planned investments were insufficient to match their continuity needs in 2013.
  • In the UK, Flood is the largest single physical threat. £5 billion has been paid out by insurers since 2000 to businesses and households hit by flooding – a record £1.2 billion in 2012 alone, including £40 million for business interruption payments
  • Fire damage, accident or arson, to UK businesses amounts to over £1 billion every year
  • In the UK the three biggest causes of Business Continuity invocation are Power Failure (32%), Communications Breakdown (23%) and IT Hardware Failure (19%).
Statistics from the 2013 Business Continuity Horizon Scan Survey (Business Continuity Institute)
How do I protect my business from these risks?
Make a plan. Think of the key objectives of such a plan: how do we stay safe, how do we stay in contact and how do we continue to do our jobs. Here are some simple steps that will give your plan the right structure.
  • Scenarios: identify the possible threats – such as power failure, IT failure or loss of premises/office. Planning for the worst case scenario should be a priority if your office or site is in the shadow of a petrochemicals facility or nuclear power station for example.
  • People: identify the key individuals without whom your business cannot function – this should be as short as possible, but as long as necessary.
  • Tasks: assign persons emergency responsibilities – who calls the insurers? Who calls the customers?
  • Flexibility: identify those who can work from home – they’ll help relieve some pressure and can keep you in touch.
  • Supply chain: document your critical vendors, contractors, partners, suppliers and customers.
  • Kit: document your critical equipment – and identify contingency replacements.
  • Information: identify your critical documentation – like finance, legal, banking, HR and insurance.
  • Back-ups: back-up your computer data and systems; store them securely off-site.
  • Office: identify your contingency location – can you share office space with a nearby firm? Make the arrangement reciprocal.
  • Staying in touch: identify your contingency communications – like re-routed telephony, or a wholesale switch to mobiles.
  • Communicate the plan: just like your fire drill, make sure everyone knows what’s in it and what their respective duties are.
  • Test the plan: don’t just assume it will work. Take time for a dry run and tune it where necessary.
  • Review, revise and renew: don’t let it collect dust. Revisit it yearly and make sure it is still relevant.
What to do next 
Seek out advice from a Risk Consultant. Ask questions, a good Risk Consultant will demonstrate a comprehensive business continuity understanding and skills, and be able to provide you with enough expert advice for you to successfully negotiate a disruptive incident. We have access to a number of first-rate Risk Consultancy’s and would be happy to put you in touch as well as offering our own advice from an insurance point of view. 
Call 01789 761660 
Web: www.pi-propertyinsurance.co.uk

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