Guest author: Disaster recovery & business continuity – why bother?

16 Apr, 2020

Many in the world of risk management will harp on about the importance of disaster recovery and business continuity planning. Most of us nod politely and agree that it is important but then the idea gets filed in the ‘things to do’ pile; years later it is still there.  Thankfully disasters are rare and hopefully our failure to prepare will not be regretted.

However, look at some of the serious issues businesses are facing in March/April 2020:

Coronavirus

  • £200bn wiped off the value of UK firms
  • Closure of schools and the knock-on effects on parents
  • Cancellation of events and sporting fixtures
  • Absence of Chinese tourists
  • Shortage of raw materials and products imported from Far East
  • Cancelled flights
  • Reduced travel bookings
  • Diversion of medical resources
  • Quarantining and self-isolation of employees
  • Etc

Floods & Storms

  • Damaged property
  • Closed transport routes
  • Staff and customers suffering flood damage
  • Staff & customers unable to travel
  • Reduced income and sales
  • Disruption of supply chain
  • Cancelled events and sporting fixtures
  • Etc

Sadly, most of the businesses impacted by the Coronavirus and/or unexpectedly high and sustained flooding will not have made plans for business continuity and disaster recovery. The impact will come as a shock and their response will therefore be haphazard. If insured, there may be help but facts show that many businesses do not survive a serious business interruption event even if they are insured.

The lesson to learn is the importance of preparation.

By planning for a disaster, the response will be so much more efficient, and the disruption will be minimised. Help to make a business continuity or disaster recovery plan may be available online or from your insurance company or broker.

Another route that is increasingly popular is the ISO 22031 standard, which will take your business on a structured and ongoing journey.  The value of ISO 22031 is recognised by insurance companies, who have seen the benefits to their clients who have suffered claims.

Planning is not the only part of business continuity & disaster recovery: it also needs to be communicated, practiced and reviewed. Fire drills are a simple example. A more modern example is the excellent online resource for practicing a cyber security incident called ‘Exercise in a Box’. And once again ISO 22031 gives a clear and helpful system to communicate, practice and review.

Perhaps the Coronavirus, flooding and storms seen in the first few months of 2020 will be an incentive to move business continuity and disaster recovery to the top of the ‘things to do’ pile?

One thing is clear, we are still in Q1 2020 so need to be prepared for what else the year will throw at us, our economy and our livelihoods.

For more advice on insurance contact Sutcliffe & Co Insurance Brokers on 01905 21681. For assistance with ISO 22031 contact ISO Quality Services Ltd on 0330 0585551.

Author Bio

Amanda Sutcliffe is the Business Development Manager of Sutcliffe & Co Insurance Brokers. You can contact Amanda and the team on 01905 21681.

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