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Having a plan that helps keep your company open for business during a crisis is vital. Here’s how this international standard can help risk managers deliver
It’s one thing to have to deal with the immediate effects when disaster strikes your business. But it’s another to make up for the lost working hours, any dip in profit and potential damage to your company’s reputation. These are the knock-on effects when businesses cease operations so they can recover.
“In today’s world, there is an ever-increasing array of risks facing all businesses, including natural disasters, human error or intent to damage and technological failure,” says Brendan Seifried, Director of Workplace Recovery Solutions, EMEA for Regus. “The impact of these hazards can be catastrophic, whether directly affecting the organisation, or indirectly interrupting their supply chain, vendors or business partners.”
All is not lost if, as risk manager, you’re confident that your Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) empowers the company’s workforce to keep calm and carry on.
Preventing operations from grinding to a halt during a challenging incident is vital for protecting finances and keeping customers, regulators, legislators and key stakeholders on side. But how can you maximise the likelihood that your company’s contingency plan ensures ‘business as usual’ in times of crisis?
Enter ISO 22301. This accreditation helps businesses of all sizes build a BCMS that is up to scratch – and also instantly communicates to the rest of the world that you have a cunning continuity plan, whatever challenges you might face.
Introduced in 2012, ISO 22301 replaced an old business continuity standard (BS25999). It means business continuity managers can self-audit their company’s BCMS and make sure it lives up to the standards set out by ISO 22301. Your company can then become certified by an independent accredited body – something to shout about to customers, partners, owners and stakeholders.
At the same time, your company doesn’t have to become formally certified. Making sure that your BCMS holds up against the regulations set out in ISO 22301 may be enough to prove that you’re well prepared for a worst-case scenario. Still, certification can boost credibility from an outside perspective, so it may be worth pursuing.
ISO 22301 gives guidance on what things need to be clearly defined in the event of an emergency, such as how your company can operate at maximum capacity if severe weather prevents employees from travelling to work, or establishing a back-up office space if there’s a power failure at HQ.
It also helps risk directors and business continuity managers prove to senior management that a reputable standard has been achieved.
“This standard, written by experts, provides the best framework for managing business continuity in an organisation,” says Seifried. “Its purpose is to ensure that operations continue, that products and services are delivered at pre-defined levels, that value-creating activities are protected and that the reputations and interests of key stakeholders are safeguarded whenever major disruptive incidents occur.”
Regus has many clients globally that are either certified, compliant or working towards certification or compliance of ISO 22301. By getting certified, or complying to this international standard, risk managers boost the chance of their company’s successful recovery and continuity during an interruption.
“The key to the standard is to have a testable capability – not just plans and procedures,” says Seifried. “Regus provides this to our Workplace Recovery clients with more than 3,000 centres globally to test their recovery capability or get an organisation back in business immediately after an interruption.”
All in all, ISO 22301 is about inspiring confidence in those who matter that your company is covered in a crisis and enjoying the peace of mind that you have the best plan possible. And Regus is here to help risk managers make use of its high-quality flexible workspace around its network as part of your company’s watertight Plan B.
Is your company’s business continuity plan in good shape? Find out more here