The pandemic worst-hit enterprises are those that didn’t have a healthy business continuity plan; CIOs discuss on setting up effective BCP to ensure uninterrupted productivity
The start of pandemic across the world saw increased Google searches for the phrase “business continuity planning.” Google Trends said that the searches for the term saw a drastic increase between 8th and 14th March. Around the same time, most countries across the world declared emergency lockdown to contain the pandemic spread.
Back-office tasks and processes were bought to the forefront as a result of the pandemic. But CIOs believe that organizations shouldn’t focus exclusively on these processes alone. Business continuity plans can help enterprises mitigate unprecedented situations like cybersecurity attacks, frauds, embezzlement, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, etc. But given the unprecedented damage of the pandemic, BCP has become the highest priority for enterprise leaders. They believe that organizations should regularly update their BCPs to be actionable and relevant to the current scenario.
Making the employees the top priority
Business leaders reiterate that employees should be the top priority in any business scenario. A business will be unable to proceed without its employees. As a result, enterprises need to put the employees’ well-being and health at the forefront. This should be followed with a clear plan on how the employees will continue working even in times of disruption.
Employees will require resources, tools, and tech to ensure seamless productivity but strong leadership and flexibility to adjust and accommodate workflow changes are critical requirements of employees. Organizations can consider this an opportunity to listen to the employee requirements and analyze the same during the disruption. Surveys and suggestion polls are a practical and useful ways to collate responses anonymously to ensure candid feedback. Employees should be treated with empathy and respect at all times to ensure retention.
Setting up an A-team
CIOs believe that any enterprise’s C-suite executive team should always be deeply involved in BCP decisions. The involvement should be visible to the entire organization. It ensures that any uncertainty or fear that may result from the implementation of BCP is dispelled.
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Apart from the C-suite team, BCP requires a set of people capable of helping in both execution and creation. These stakeholders need to be involved during the plan preparation phases to ensure the absence of blind spots and a well-balanced plan. Doing this ensures that any flaws, concerns, or disagreement that the team may have is solved proactively.
CIOs believe that enterprises need to be ready to over-communicate with clients, stakeholders, and employees in the event of a disruption. Frequent and consistent communication ensures that no information is miscommunicated or lost in translation. Leaders need to consider various perspectives while creating a communications strategy and involve trusted individuals, both external and internal, to ensure constructive feedback.
The final step should be to analyze business functions and processes. Identify the potential liabilities, tag the dependencies, and create an estimate of the losses if the production or processes halt for a certain period. CIOs suggest detecting critical services and products that the organization delivers and which clients or customers benefit from them. It helps to analyze which BCP part will be relevant to the business’s highest value relationships, assets, and relationships and mitigate potential revenue losses.