Is your BCP becoming your BAU?

More external forces

We have had pandemics before, most recently H1N1 in 2009, and we will have them again. However, given the rise of technological advances this past decade, COVID-19 will forever alter the way we think about what constitutes “the workplace”, long after the virus goes away.

Most firms have Business Continuity Plans (BCP) with policies and procedures and infrastructure that is tested occasionally, usually in anticipation of some sort of weather event, and usually with a subset of its personnel. Few firms are prepared to support an entirely remote workforce for an extended period of time.

Major emergencies have become increasingly common from health issues to natural disasters to climate-change related issues, and more firms are finding they are in a constant state of contingency.

Getting ahead of the next emergency

We have assembled a three-phase effort to help you enhance your platform to be prepared for an uncertain world.

Phase 1 – Document the “actual” state

Most organizations have documented a current state, but due to an ever-changing business, it may not reflect the “actual” state of the operations. This first effort allows you to answer key questions:

  1. What’s working well, and what did you miss?
  2. What “band-aids” have been put in place that need to be institutionalized?
  3. Did all of those policies and procedures help guide what to do?
  4. Are Operations, Technology, and the Business aligned?
  5. How is your infrastructure holding up?
  6. Do employees have the right HW and SW?
  7. What about security? How does your cyber solution support all these new end-points?
  8. Are you in regulatory compliance?

Phase 2 – Create the optimal future state

When the evaluation of the actual state is complete, the next phase is to create a target that is resilient and flexible, incorporating the lessons from the current emergency.

  1. Pull together all the materials for the inevitable postmortem sessions
  2. Conduct workshops not only with the front-line support staff, but also key stakeholders
  3. Create and execute a thorough Remediation Plan

Phase 3 – Prepare for the next emergency

While there is no way to predict all the potential scenarios that may happen, there are key steps that can be taken to increase the effectiveness of your response when an event occurs.

  1. Define different scenarios and create a test plan to address each one
  2. Ensure documentation to communication tools, infrastructure, and HW/SW is appropriately refreshed
  3. Conduct both structured and unstructured tests – some on the calendar and some ad hoc

The right partner

We know how to do this. We understand the interconnectivity and dependencies between the front, middle, and back office. Our Business Continuity Team created, tested, and occasionally executed the BCP for Bloomberg and several other large global organizations – and we’ve been put to the test with H1N1, Superstorm Sandy, and dozens of other global weather-related events.