10 Things you should know!

1. People support what they help create   - All Employees should have a basic understanding of the principles of Business Continuity and it's importance to the company. Employees should be actively involved in the planning process.                                                                                                                                            

2. Business Continuity is not the same as Disaster Recovery - Business Continuity actively manages all business processes, assets, facilities, supply chains and human resources to ensure that your business will function at it's highest capacity. Disaster recovery planning concentrates on IT contingency planning. Therefore although it is an important part of the process it is seen as a sub category to the business continuity plan.

3. Business Continuity is not just about the plans - It will address the issues that place a company at risk. These are issues that your business will deal with on a day to day basis and are linked to the strategic goals of the company, which is why you should "get" the importance of this planning.

4. Business Continuity can help differentiate companies - Having a business continuity programme in place can illustrate to your customers or clients, how you can recover your operation within a few hours of an eventuality if you lost the ability at your exisiting location. When you have the confidence to do this, it then becomes easier to ask them to consider if their competitors have the same capability.

5. Doing Business Continuity can SAVE you money - The planning that goes into a business continuity programme, can often be a way of taking stock of an entire organisations processes. A better understanding of your business can lead to the improvement and streamlining of processes and potentially cost reductions.

6. Having a Business Continuity Plan is great for your reputation even after an adverse event - The effective handling of any incident, large or small, can have a positive effect on a company's market value. Successful navigation of a potentail devastating incident can significantly increase customer confidence within your organisation. In the case of an industry-wide incident, a company may be judged against its competitors on how an the incident was managed. By successfully handling a business continuity incident when its competitors fail, can make your organisation stand out in the market.

7. Your IT infrastructure costs may be to high - There are rising costs associated with running a business, especially now businesses become far more dependant on increasingly complex and expensive IT infrastructure. An area for potential savings is the expenditure on IT storage. A business continuity programme can help identify the critical storage needs of an organisation or business and therefore help to focus and possible reduce IT budgets.

8. Insurance may not cover all your losses - Things such as business opportunities, loss of reputation, the cost of losing current business customers, the erosion of brand value and new products and services being delayed or cancelled. It will only provide some limited financial protection but will not ensure the survival of your organisation or business.

9. Lower Insurance premiums - Insurance Companies and brokers have realized that business continuity planning helps with risk reduction, and it is becoming increasingly common for a condition of insurance cover to show the existence of a business continuity plan. Businesses will also find that they can often achieve a reduction or saving with their premiums if they have a proven business continuity plan in place.

10. It's a security conscious thing to do - Many scandals have rocked the business world on either side of the Atlantic and have further hilighted the importance of business security in maintaining the integrity of data and reports. It is always difficult to legislate for crimes commited on the inside, and detecting fraudulent behaviour. However Business Continuity planning can provide protection against such threats, although not a foolproof defence it will be extremely helpful.

As Eliza Manningham-Buller, Director general of MI5, said: "I am often asked what single piece of advice I can recommend that would be most helpful to the business community. My answer is a simple, but effective, business continuity plan that is regularly reviewed and tested".