Business continuity…risk…health, safety, and environment…emergency response…resiliency…disaster recovery…crisis…continuity of operations plan—why can’t organizations agree on what the function is called, what its responsibility should be, and where it should be placed inside of every organization?
Running a business entails a variety of risks and issues. Some of these possible threats can completely ruin a company, while others can create significant harm that is both expensive and time-consuming to remediate. Therefore, it’s critical for businesses to prepare for potential threats and shortcomings that could jeopardize their operations. This business planning includes Business Continuity, Risk, Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), Emergency Response, Resiliency, Disaster Recovery, Crisis, and Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP).
But why can’t organizations agree on a name for the function, its responsibilities, and where it should be located within an organization? The reason for this is because each of these business planning elements has a certain role to play in each organization. To further understand this, let’s dive into the terms and definitions below.
1. Business Continuity
Business continuity is the advanced preparation and planning made to guarantee that a company will have the competence to perform its critical business processes during disaster occurrences. Natural calamities, business crises, pandemics, violence in the workplace, or any other event that disrupts your business operations are examples of possible occurrences.
It recognizes, plans for, and/or creates the following:
- How to interact with customers, suppliers, and other third parties
- How to ensure that clients can continue to get services or products
- How to assist employees in the event of an emergency
- Workaround approaches when technology is unavailable
- Where and how should employees and operations be relocated when business locations are disrupted or unavailable
Risk management is the process through which businesses detect, analyze, and respond to hazards that may have an impact on their operations. Strategic, compliance, operational, financial, reputational, and environmental risks are the most common types of business risks.
The term health, safety, and environment (HSE) refers to a division or department inside a firm that is in charge of adhering to and protecting occupational health and safety standards and regulations, as well as environmental protection.
Health, safety, and environment departments are normally in charge of two things:
- Prevention of all problems and accidents that may occur as a result of unexpected operating conditions
- Reduction of negative effects that may happen as a consequence of normal operating conditions
4. Emergency Response
A vital component of running a business is preparing for interruptions, emergencies, and calamities. An emergency response plan is intended to assist businesses in dealing with a variety of emergency scenarios that may arise within their organization. Who to call, what to do in an emergency, how to manage risk, and what resources to use to limit damage are all part of the best plans. The primary goal of an emergency response plan is to minimize human injury and property damage in the event of a disaster.
Business resilience refers to an organization’s ability to quickly react to disruptions while continuing to operate normally and protecting employees, assets, and overall brand equity. Business resilience expands beyond disaster recovery by providing post-disaster solutions to avoid costly downtime, strengthen weaknesses, and keep businesses running in the event of future, unanticipated breaches.
6. Disaster Recovery
The formal planning process through which a corporation builds its strategy for responding to disruptive incidents, which can range from natural calamities to cyberattacks to power outages, is known as disaster recovery. A disaster recovery plan’s main purpose is to help businesses minimize the impact of a disaster and resume normal operations as fast as possible. Organizations use a disaster recovery plan to get back up and running as quickly as possible, ideally reducing or limiting the negative consequences.
Crisis management assists a company and its members in identifying threats and mitigating them using predetermined strategies. It is a mix of diagnosis, observation, and action—frequently on a tight deadline. Making a plan for the uncertainty of global events and the reliability of your business is the essence of crisis management.
A COOP plan takes an all-hazards approach to deal with emergencies. In the event of an emergency, a continuity of operations plan (COOP) creates policy and guidelines to ensure that important functions continue and workers and resources are shifted to an alternate facility.
Procedures should be developed in the strategy for:
- Alerting, notifying, activating, and deploying personnel
- Determining the important business functions
- Creating a backup facility
If a crisis arises, planning early may protect your organization, but keep in mind that the consequences are significant. A crisis can have a detrimental influence on your company if it’s not handled properly. Regardless of the terminologies, one day, we may agree on what it should be called but, in the meantime, remember all of these business planning strategies and apply the one that fits your organizational culture and regulatory requirements.