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Businesses Need Management, Recovery Plans In Place, Says Australian Business Director

  Businesses such as retail, tourism, accounting firms, manufacturers and Small or Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) need prepare Business Continuity Management or Disaster Recovery Plans in place. Rinske Geerlings, managing director
16 Jun 2018 14:33
Businesses Need Management, Recovery Plans  In Place, Says Australian Business Director
Rinske Geerlings Managing director, Business As Usual, Australia

 

Businesses such as retail, tourism, accounting firms, manufacturers and Small or Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) need prepare Business Continuity Management or Disaster Recovery Plans in place.

Rinske Geerlings, managing director of Business As Usual, Australia, while delivery her address on ‘You have been Hacked – Now what is your BCP’ during the Institute of Internal Auditors Fiji’s annual conference at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa yesterday said questions would be asked soon if nothing had been prepared.

“You’re in a challenging position, with (usually) a limited budget,” she said.

“If you’re a small organisation, you need to be ready for the next flood, power outage, tsunami, fire, and external provider downtime or flu outbreak just like bigger organisations need to.

“If your customers or regulators haven’t asked you yet for your Business Continuity Management (BCM) or Disaster Recovery (DR) Plan, they will soon.

“Whether you need better preparedness for unavailability of your staff, suppliers, IT systems, buildings or facilities, consider actioning these tips for your organisation, no matter how big or small you are.”

She listed the top 10 (low cost) BCP tips for SMEs:

  • Have ‘dual supplier’ arrangements and/or manual workarounds in place;
  •  Make all contact details available -– including internal (staff, shareholders) and external (supplier, customer, media, next-of-kin) details – and make sure they are accessible from various sources (cloud, pre-populated SIM cards, hard copy, USB/thumb drive);
  •  Know who in your business will make key decisions when an incident occurs and also when the top manager is not immediately available. Be as efficient as possible in your crisis response, and have the courage to act ‘outside the square’ and completely change your business direction if need be;
  •  Be proactive in your notification of customers, the community and the press… don’t wait for them to ring up and find out your business is no longer in normal operation.  Ask your suppliers, banks, leasing company, landlord and/or the Government (e.g the tax office) for delayed payment terms, rather than them chasing you for money;
  •  Know which are your key time-critical functions/services/activities, and your biggest customers who bring in the largest chunk of your sales, and make plans to focus firstly on recovering activities related to those in case of a disaster, instead of wasting time on less important things;
  •  Make plans for your staff to work from home – or alternate locations.  Use a virtual/shared office as an affordable continuity solution if need be – or set-up a reciprocal arrangement with a business that has similar requirements to yours.  Ensure you’re able to divert services remotely (e.g. IT, phone, supplier deliveries etc) and make sure you always have the necessary passwords and contact details available;
  •  Ensure your employees are able to perform several roles in case of illness/resignation… in particular in SMEs you don’t often have multiple ‘extra staff’ for every key role;
  •  On the preventative side: Understand and mitigate your security weaknesses (e.g. theft of your mail server) and have proper hygiene and infection management procedures in place (e.g. in relation to a flu outbreak);
  •  Take out insurances relevant to your business.  Apart from fire/damage, general property, glass, accidental damage, money, liability, burglary, goods in transit, tax audit, equipment breakdown and fraud/dishonesty insurance, consider ‘key person’ insurance and business interruption insurance for your small business; and
  •  Use a smart best-practice template for your Business Continuity Plan (BCP) such as the Business As Usual template – it will save you months of preparation.

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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