You’re starting to think about a business continuity plan for your organization—and rightfully so. It seems like we hear about organizations that are facing crises every day in the news. Whether they’re in an area hit by a hurricane or flood, or the victim of a cyber attack, many businesses and organizations are simply unprepared when disaster—large or small— strikes.
Even well-meaning organizations might come up with a continuity plan that falls short when push comes to shove. So how can you ensure your business continuity plan covers all the bases? To start, think of critical functions as the functions each department and the institution as a whole must continue in order to keep the organization functioning. Next, remember that critical functions may change by department within your higher ed organization. Check out our guide to learn more about business continuity plan critical functions and what to consider.
This is an important first step in building your plan, because you won’t be able to operate any aspect of your business without first knowing how to respond to an emergency. Who will be in charge? What should your employees do? What do we do if essential employees are unavailable? Make sure you have an action plan in place before you’re faced with a disaster.
Disaster recovery is about how you'll maintain your critical technological infrastructure. Make sure you have data backup software and a documented plan for how you’ll get back up and running after you’ve been hit with a power outage or other disaster.
Supply chains can go awry in the midst of a disaster like a hurricane, flood, or earthquake. Make sure you have alternative supply chains lined up if your current system is disrupted. Even if the disaster happens in another part of the world, it could still affect your business.
Every business needs a facility to operate from, whether it’s an office space, warehouse, or factory. These facilities could be at risk of damage from theft, vandalism, a fire, or other event. But proper planning can help you recover quickly when your facilities aren’t available for a period of time.
If there’s an illness outbreak, natural disaster, or other situation that leaves you without a significant amount of your staff, what will you do? Make sure you have a plan for how you’ll handle having your employees out of the office or unable to work, and how you will continue operations with essential employees out.
A detailed communication system is part of your business continuity plan critical functions. Even the best plans fall short if you don’t have a way of communicating them to your employees, supply chains, stakeholders, and other important people that help your organization run smoothly. Higher ed institutions must also communicate plans with students and the surrounding community. This may require a more stratified communication plan than the average business communication plan.
Kuali Ready is here to help you build a robust set of thorough business continuity plans for your higher education organization. With an all-hands, all-hazards approach that includes easy-to-understand data and reporting, Kuali Ready is the best software for your higher ed continuity planning needs. Visit the Ready page for a free trial today.