Business Continuity Planning: Ensuring Business as Usual When the Unusual Happens
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Overview: Business continuity is a goal of every business. Managing operations effectively, maintaining profitability, and making sure customers and employees are satisfied are vital elements for continuity, but they do not provide a guarantee against closure. A successful, profitable business that is located in an area where natural disasters are a seldom occurrence does not mean that it will remain open. Chemical spills, ice storms, and pandemics can prevent access to the office. Far more common than natural or manmade disasters, employee turnover, strikes, or walkouts can result in the loss of significant corporate knowledge as well as inconsistent work quality. Without a well-conceived plan, a business can collapse. This article is intended to help businesses that are trying to decide if they need a continuity plan as well as those that are seeking to create or revise one. It will also assist companies that are thinking about creating a plan in conjunction with current or planned process automation. Practical considerations are shared for getting started.