KingsBridge Blog

BCP on a Budget Part II:

Earlier this month we set you up with six tips for getting your business continuity plan started without breaking the bank.  This week we continue the series with six new ideas to get your plan off the ground when dollars are tight.

  1. Don’t get bogged down in the Threat Risk Assessment.  While the threat risk assessment is important for risk mitigation, it’s not a necessity for getting your plan started.  Regardless of what causes a business interruption, it’s likely to result in one of four possible results; no building, no people, no systems or no third party providers.  Writing your plan to prepare for these four possibilities will allow you to skip the arduous threat risk assessment process (for now) and ensure that regardless of what strikes, you’ll have a plan to address it.
  2. Try a ‘light’ Business Impact Assessment.  If you don’t have the time to look at all the business processes within your organization, just start with the obvious.  If your business is making widgets then you better make sure your widget sales, manufacturing and distribution business processes are addressed.  Get the basics covered and save the rest for another phase of the project.
  3. Incorporate business impact assessment thinking into the change management process.  Adding another widget line or bringing on a new piece of software?  Ask yourself how critical that new widget line or software will be to your business before you implement them and then revisit your recovery priorities.  Your business impact assessment will remain up to date every time your business changes without having to go through a formal ‘business impact analysis’ process.
  4. Keep old hardware ‘just in case’.  While it’s great that the workforce is getting more mobile, not everyone has a laptop and those that do, don’t always take them home at the end of the day.  When replacing hardware, consider storing the ‘expired’ laptops, cell phones etc. in an offsite location where they can be put back into use should they be needed.
  5. Do an after-hours laptop audit.  Wondering if those laptops really are going home at the end of the day?  If this is your organization’s policy, roam the offices once everyone has gone home for the day.  Find a laptop?  Pick it up and leave your business card.  The delinquent employee will need to make the ‘walk of shame’ to your office to reclaim their hardware – a definite deterrent to leaving it behind a second time.  This is one easy way to “exercise” an important policy that supports your BC plan.
  6. Leverage evacuation drills as mini-exercises.  While there is ‘no time’ to exercise the business continuity plan, evacuation drills are often required.  This is a perfect opportunity to pounce on an unsuspecting team at their assembly location, and do a little scenario exercise with them.  Questions like ‘What would you do if you were told you couldn’t go back to work today?’, ‘What if your office was in flames right now?’ and “How would you manage today’s critical tasks if this weren’t a drill?” will get them thinking.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this two-part series on BCP on a Budget.  If you missed Part I, you can find it below.

Need software to help manage your business continuity plan or maybe you need some help getting your plan written or exercised?  We can help.  Find out more at www.disasterrecovery.com.

BCP on a budget a two-part series:

You know you need a Business Continuity Plan but, like so many organizations, there’s no extra cash lying around to invest in the process.  Sound familiar?  In this two-part series, we provide you with a dozen tips and tricks to get started on your plan without breaking the bank.

  1. Talk to your insurance provider.  Business continuity plans demonstrate that an organization is aware of risk and willing to mitigate it.  Depending on your insurance provider, you may be able to negotiate a discount on your premiums if you present them with a copy of your plan.
  2. Check other budgets for extra cash.  Business continuity impacts every aspect of a business so it can be argued that a little bit of budget from every department should go toward the development and maintenance of the plan.  If you can negotiate a small slice from a number of budgets, you may find yourself with just enough to get your planning process off the ground.
  3. Talk to your sales department.  Are customers asking for you to have a business continuity plan?  This is becoming a common requirement and you may be losing business as a result.  Check with your sales department to see if they’ve lost deals as a result of not having a plan to offer.  Winning those deals may be enough to fund the planning process.
  4. Consider a software tool.  Time is money and you can save time by creating and managing your plan in a software tool.  KingsBridge Shield offers hundreds of pages of customizable templates and centralized databases to make your plan quick to write and easy to maintain.
  5. Negotiate payment plans with your vendor.  Don’t have the cash upfront to pay for software?  Negotiate monthly payment plans to reduce the impact on your cash flow.  This can work for consulting work too.  Sometimes investing a small amount in a few experts can save you a large amount time, and thus money, down the road.
  6. Leverage the near misses.  If you already have a plan, use that weekend flood or small storage room fire as opportunities to review how your plan might have stood up if the small incident had been something bigger.  If you don’t already have a plan, these near misses are great conversation starters.  Capturing the ideas that are generated can be just what you need to start pulling a plan together.

Watch for part II – “BCP on a Budget Part II”.

Need software to help manage your business continuity plan or maybe you need some help getting your plan written or exercised?  We can help.  Find out more at www.disasterrecovery.com.

Document Core Processes (aka “What’s that post-it?”)

I walked into the hotel lobby at a client site a few weeks ago to get some tea and review my notes for the day’s meetings.  There was a businessman sitting at a table near the coffee stand, and he was clearly in the middle of an important phone conversation.  From what I could overhear (and he was not being quiet) he was talking with someone in his department (IT) at his head office.  It went something like this:

“Ok, so did you check all the hardware connections?”  pause  “No, that wouldn’t help.  You might have to shutdown and reboot.”  exasperated sigh  “Ok, well I’m in a hotel on the West coast so I can’t come in, but I’ll do what I can to walk you through the steps over the phone.”

So many of the organizations that hire us have gaps in their documentation.  When we ask them why core processes aren’t written out, the usual responses are “We don’t need to write it down, we all know how to do it,” or “We don’t have the time, do you see how understaffed we are?!”  The struggle is real!  It usually takes a large-scale outage to convince a team to get their core processes written down: an outage on the scale of a few hours where, if the documentation had existed in advance, the recovery would have been measured in minutes and not in hours.

Trust me, the benefits outweigh the costs!  Make the time to jot down how to reboot your servers (or your core switches, or whatever it happens to be).  Your supervisors will be thrilled that you had the foresight to put this critical information in writing – even if it’s on a post-it!  You will have saved the business from operational, financial, and even reputational risks.  

Documenting processes is even more important if you are the only one in your department that knows how to do a task; if you can’t come into work because you are on the West coast, you won’t have to field 6am phone calls because your staff will already have all of the steps they need to follow at their fingertips, unlike the poor gentleman in the hotel lobby!

This is just one of the many business continuity and disaster recovery practices that your organization should think about.

About KingsBridge

KingsBridge offers private businesses and government organizations a unique combination of industry knowledge and cost-effective disaster recovery / business continuity solutions. KingsBridge softwareconsulting and training provide the tools to assess possible threats and create tailored plans which mitigate risks and minimize losses in the event of a disruption to business. Kingsbridge is headquartered in Ogdensburg, New York, with offices in Ottawa, Canada and Burlington, Vermont. For more information visit us at www.DisasterRecovery.com.

July Long Weekend!

It’s so close we can almost taste it! The mid-summer Holiday long weekend is right around the corner.

Did you buy your fireworks?  Your burgers, steaks or franks?  Chips?  And drinks?  If you did, you are prepared to host the best BBQ of the summer season!!  This is THE one that everyone will rave about for the rest of the year (or until your next bash).  But what if a few extra people show up?  What if the weather is hot and sunny so everyone drinks a ton?  Or you run out of buns or potato salad?  Not only will you NOT be the host with the most, but you will be remembered for your poor planning.  However, there is a “simple” solution.  Just plan for the “what ifs” and buy that extra box of fireworks and that extra bag of buns (or the extra case of beer) just to be sure you are prepared for anything.

So what happens when you get back to work?  Will you use the same “simple” logic and plan for the “what ifs” for your business?  Why do we dismiss the unforeseen events that happen to our business and not prepare with a proper back-up plan in place?  We aren’t saying for a second that a box of fireworks is a great plan in case of an unforeseen event with your business.  But a proper Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plan… now that’s the solution for being remembered as the person being prepared for the “what ifs” and having the forethought to be prepared for anything!  We know that fireworks won’t save your business, but a solid recovery plan will save you from bad audit reviews, regulatory penalties, service level agreement half truths and possibly losing your entire business!

At KingsBridge we can help you have a great back-up and response plan for your business, and maybe even throw in a box of fireworks for good measure!

Have a great (and safe) July long weekend everybody!

About KingsBridge

KingsBridge offers private businesses and government organizations a unique combination of industry knowledge and cost-effective disaster recovery / business continuity solutions. KingsBridge software, consulting and training provide the tools to assess possible threats and create tailored plans which mitigate risks and minimize losses in the event of a disruption to business. Kingsbridge is headquartered in Ogdensburg, New York, with offices in Ottawa, Canada and Burlington, Vermont. For more information visit us at www.DisasterRecovery.com.

 

We’re packed! See you at Continuity Insights?

packed

Only a few days until Continuity Insights 2016 Management Conference, “The Road to Resilience” kicks off in beautiful Nashville, Tennessee.  Will we see you there?

It promises to be a busy, productive fun few days.  A chance to connect & chat with people in a role similar to yours, and others who may have a different perspective on the world of Business Continuity.  From attendees to exhibitors like KingsBridge, there will be a huge pool of knowledge and experience to draw on and learn from.

From Continuity Insight’s website:

ciinsight

“The conference comprises three days of comprehensive educational programming, numerous networking opportunities, a review of the latest technologies and practices, additional certification and post-conference workshops, and much more. It is truly the industry’s leading event for experienced business continuity professionals.”

Drop by the KingsBridge Booth (#303) and let us know how you’re enjoying the show.  As always, we’d love to learn more about what you’re doing and we’ll be happy to share everything that’s new and upcoming at KingsBridge. Speaking of which-

Rumour: Is it true there is a new version of KingsBridge Shield to be released in 2016?

new-old

This is going to be a big year for Shield.  Keep an eye on us for more information as to when you’ll get a first-hand look at the largest single upgrade to the tool since its original release.  If you don’t follow us on twitter yet, now would be a good time to start so you don’t miss the announcements.  Better yet, if you are going to be at Continuity Insights next week, drop by and see us, we’ll give you a live sneak peek, but don’t tell anyone.

From the @KDRLife Files: Shark!

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Matt with his new friend, March 2016 at #DRJSpring

Now that you’re following the official KingsBridge corporate feed on twitter, you might want to follow @KDRLife while you’re at it.  No Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity info from @KDRLife tweets, this account is all about the after-hours fun side of KingsBridge.  Be warned: This is not for the faint of Heart!  Our crew does some pretty nutty stuff on their off-time, so get ready for some action.

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Skip shredding it @BaldfaceLodge, April 2016

Thanks for catching up on what’s new here at KingsBridge!  We’ll report back after Continuity Insights to let you know how it went.  Not sure how the deep-sea fishing or snowboarding is going to be in Nashville…

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