Business continuity is all about asking ‘what if…?’
What if this fails? Or what if this becomes unavailable? What if we need a back-up plan?
The theme for 2022
The Business Continuity Institute’s theme for this year is building resilience in the hybrid world.
No one needs three guesses as to why this theme has been chosen, but I’ll give you a clue. It starts with ‘g’, and ends in ‘lobal pandemic’.
Everyone had to adapt to a very different way of working – fast! And business continuity helped us do it.
Many will have previously identified ‘pandemic’ as a possibility on their risk register so they’d considered what their business continuity plans might be. But who knew we’d need to action them so soon.
Considerations for a hybrid environment
There are a few areas that require more consideration in a hybrid environment. Here are just a few of them:
Cyber security threats
Not only have cyber security threats increased and evolved, but we no longer have the ease of a second opinion from colleagues around us.
We can’t just nudge our colleague and ask “does this look like phishing?” or “should my computer be doing that?”. At most, we’ll get a confused look from our pets.
This means that everyone needs to continually up their game against cyber threats. And be aware of who and how to report information security incidents so they can be dealt with effectively.
We also need to consider how to share information securely so we can collaborate with colleagues, who we may have previously just shown our screen to or had regular in-person meetings with.
With less people working onsite we need to be familiar with emergency procedures.
If there is a fire or an accident, we may find there are no fire wardens or first aiders in at all times. Therefore, we need to be aware of what to do, i.e. do you know where the fire exits are?
If you need support, do you know who to reach out to? For example, what if the emergency services have blocked access to the office, there’s been a power cut, or no water?
When working remotely, it’s important to consider our mental health. It can be isolating working from home or elsewhere from our colleagues. At times, we may find that we need a little extra support. Do you know where to find this?
For those responsible for products and services used by your institutions, you need to know who your key suppliers are and monitor their performance.
Monitoring global events will help you plan for less expected events and may give you a bit of extra time to put a plan in place. For example, during the pandemic many will have kept a close eye on the microchip shortage and now are monitoring the war in Ukraine.
Do you have business continuity plans for your key suppliers?
Having emergency tools in your back pocket is really helpful in times of crisis. Being able to send out communications to your staff on a wide-scale, without relying on email, can be a great way to keep staff in the loop when systems go down or an emergency happens. Have you got one in your back pocket?
Business Continuity keeps us ticking over
When things go wrong or unexpected events happen, our business continuity plans keep us operating. We’ve all adapted to a more hybrid environment and so have our business continuity plans.