Business Continuity Consulting
Business Continuity Consulting Companies
A clear indicator of an organization’s success is its ability to address interruptions to normal operations without impact revenue-producing activities. The causes of a business interruption can be highly varied, but a good business continuity plan (BCP) is key to surviving any of them. Business continuity consulting companies help organizations put together a business continuity plan (BCP) for each type of potential interruption, helping to ensure overall success. Business continuity consulting brings expertise many organizations may not have internally, ensuring that the organization has a plan and that its plan is sufficient to keep the organization operating effectively, no matter what type of disaster is at hand.
Why Businesses Need Business Continuity Consulting
There are many ways companies can go wrong when they create business continuity plans on their own. Consider a few examples:
- Focus on the wrong things: for example, IT is fully prepared with backups, but they have no stand-by data centre services, and the business itself has no operation plan.
- Base their plan on unrealistic expectations: for example, a plan of having people work from home after a large storm and miss the fact that they might not have power or Internet service.
- Create a detailed plan without ensuring it’s kept up to date: a waterfall approach to continuity planning results in a plan that is good the moment it’s complete and useless six months later.
- Fail to prepare staff: For example, they drill staff on evacuation and checking in but don’t consider how they will operate afterwards.
Business continuity consulting firms can help ensure that the right risks are identified and addressed. They provide access to business continuity plan specialists who focus on business continuity planning vs. internal staff who are focused on their area of responsibility and often have little to no experience in business continuity planning.
Business continuity plan specialists can help an organization:
- Understand common threats and risks
- Help organizations focus on the right areas for their business
- Provide advice on best practices and tools for mitigating continuity risks
- Ensure the organization doesn’t miss critical threats or risks
- Choose effective solutions and develop an effective plan
Using a business continuity plan consulting firm to develop plans also allows internal staff to focus on their key responsibilities by doing some of the heavy lifting of researching solutions and drafting risk assessments and plans. While they will still need to participate in the business continuity plan, the business continuity plan consultant can take a large portion of the responsibility off their shoulders.
Business continuity plan consulting firms also have the collateral and process needed to develop continuity plans. Rather than starting from scratch and putting intensive effort into building a business continuity plan, the consultant uses a repeatable, documented methodology that shortens planning time while ensuring all critical areas are covered effectively.
Ultimately, the primary business value of using a business continuity consulting firm is that it ensures the organization can produce a robust plan that covers all critical risks they might encounter in a shorter period of time than if they attempt to build a business continuity plan themselves. It also ensures they don’t miss planning steps like staff training and drills and regular plan audits that ensure the plan can be executed and remain effective as business conditions change.
Here’s What to Consider Before Choosing a Business Continuity Consulting Firm
When choosing business continuity consulting services, organizations should consider the type of business continuity management services it needs: there is a wide variation from pure-play business continuity consultants as opposed to business continuity management services companies that include consulting expertise.
A business continuity plan consultant will help with the main aspects of documenting the business continuity plan, testing, and auditing it, but companies that provide full business continuity management services supply all the continuity needs of an organization from planning to implementation and operations.
Business Continuity Planning Consultants:
An effective consultant should be able to assist in the following areas:
- Initial business continuity plan assessment
- Risk assessment and business impact analysis
- Staff engagement and training programs
- Routine business continuity plan drills and audits
Business continuity group consulting firms should be assessed for their ability to provide some of the following services or knowledge:
Additionally, the business continuity consulting services provider should be able to assist with short-term and long-term planning. Putting together a business continuity plan takes time. Based on the business impact assessment, the consultant should be able to put together a short-term plan and execute it rapidly. This allows some level of insurance against risk while the long-term plan is developed. For example, a short-term plan may be a reactive plan, which deals with a continuity issue when it occurs, but longer-term plans might consider ways to make critical business areas resilient enough to avoid business interruptions that put the organization at risk.
Business Continuity Management ServicesOnce the plan is in place, a business continuity management service provider can help the organization implement the solutions they need to actually implement the plan. For example, the plan may establish work from home operations for certain issues, but a business continuity management service provider may help them with virtual desktop services and managed software to ensure a smooth cut-over. Its capabilities like this can make or break the plan execution.
Business Continuity Services Offered by CG Technologies
As a full-service technology provider, CG Technologies is a service provider with over twenty years of experience in continued operations, including business continuity planning services. Because CG Technologies must protect their own customer-facing services, they have developed business continuity planning consultants who work in a variety of disciplines:
- Risk assessment and business impact analysis using structured templates that ensure all areas are covered during planning
- Business continuity plan audits and cyber-security audits that include penetration testing
- Solution design for every level of business interruption
- The ability to use managed services and cloud services as part of a short-term or long-term business continuity program
- Partnerships with key equipment, software and service providers that can help with the implementation of continuity plans
- Experience in staff training and adoption programs, business continuity rehearsals and drills
CG Technologies business continuity management services also provide solutions to business continuity planning challenges by providing a robust selection of managed services:
- Cloud hosting services enable organizations to build data centre resiliency or get up and running quickly after a disruption. The ability to build a plan with resiliency is particularly important for organizations with customer-facing digital solutions (like websites).
- Managed help desk services and hosted Microsoft® Office solutions to ensure 24×7 help desk support can be available and that email and critical desktop services are available.
- Security services assist organizations in assessing the effectiveness of their cyber-security program, running penetration tests, and ultimately implementing security solutions to help protect the organization from interruption due to cyber-attacks.
- Virtual desktop services, hardware support services, file and print server hosting enable daily operations to be established quickly for work-from-home responses.
When planning your business continuity plan, it’s essential to have a partner that can offer end-to-end business continuity management services that include business continuity planning services and solutions to help you build operational resiliency. This ensures you have expertise available to help you build the right plan and help implement solutions that bring resiliency as you move from short-term planning to a long-term solution. Contact us to discuss your business continuity planning needs
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With over 25 years of experience delivering exceptional services to 100’s of companies in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), CG Technologies are confident we can deliver the same benefits to your organization – keeping you secure, delivering reliable and trusted IT solutions and expertise. Our industry leading strategic IT consulting and IT solutions will allow you to focus on what matters most – your business.