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Business Continuity Management

What is business continuity?

Nearly one in five businesses suffer a major disruption every year - yours could be next. With no recovery plan you have less chance of survival.

How quickly, and painlessly, you manage to get back to 'business as usual' in the event of a terrorist attack, fire, flood, natural disaster, or any major interruption, depends on how effectively you can devise, and put into action your own business continuity management.

Business Continuity Management can be best defined as:

"A holistic management process that identifies potential threats to an organisation and the impacts to business operations that those threats, if realised, might cause, and which provides framework for building organisational resilience with the capability for an effective response that safeguards the interests of its key stakeholders, reputation, brand and value-creating activities."
(British Standards Institutions Code of Practice for Business Continuity Management)

Why have a plan?

Building in business continuity, making it part of the way that you run your business, rather than having to 'firelight' any emergency, helps prepare you to offer 'business as usual' in the quickest possible time.  Planned business continuity management, so that your staff, customers and suppliers are reassured that you have an effective policy and practice for managing the unexpected, helps build confidence in your business.

Business Continuity Management is an established part of the UK's preparations for the possible threats posed to organisations, whether from internal systems failures or external emergencies.  The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 recognised its importance by requiring frontline responders to maintain internal BCM arrangements, and since May 2006, local authorities have been required to promote BCM to business and the voluntary organisations in their communities. 

Within Hertfordshire a group has been established to provide information and assist organisations with business continuity. Hertfordshire Resilience is a partnership of emergency services, local authorities, health services and voluntary agencies, working together to make Hertfordshire a safer place to live work and travel in. Further information and advice is available from its website.

The Business Continuity Institute website promotes business continuity management, and provides guides and best practice advice to businesses.