Informal Communication Networks and Roles Informal Communication Networks and Roles Organizations implement business continuity plans to enable them survive disruptions that are caused by natural and man-made calamities. The essence of a business continuity plan, also refered to as BCP, is that through it, an organization will be prepared to respond to the calamities that often result in disruptions (Cabinet Office, 2004). A BCP can identify external and internal threats that a business organization is exposed to. That allows the management to prevent them effectively and also map out the procedure for recovering in case the disruptions are large enough.
Through the BCP, organizations are able to maintain the integrity of their value system and competitive advantage. Below is a memo to communicate the importance of a BCP from the internal auditor to the board of directors of Guarantee Insurance Company, which is a fictional company. Business Continuity Planning at Guarantee Insurance Company DATE: May 6, 2014 MEMORANDUM TO: The Board of Directors FROM: The Internal Auditor SUBJECT: Importance of a Business Continuity Plan This communication presents the findings of an assessment of business continuity planning at Guarantee Insurance Company.
It further presents the significance of the business continuity planning and recommendations as established by the assessor. The role of insurance companies as players in the financial sector of the economy is crucial. From this perspective, the best way to maintain public confidence and trust for insurance companies is to ensure that their operations are flexible enough to minimize the effects that result from disruptions in their services. Business continuity plans (BCPs) are plans developed in a way that will provide organizations with comprehensive plans resume and maintain their business operations should a disruption occur (BSI, 2006).
The underlying significance is that services to clients will go on and the organization’s financial losses will be minimized, which implies long term benefits to the economy at large. Well-documented BCPs ensure financial system of a nation remains safe by alleviating the impacts of disruptions on individual organizations, safeguarding their reputations, raising their credit quality and positioning them in the market. At the time of this assessment, which was conducted with the aim of pointing out the adverse effects disruptions would have on the organization’s business operations in the absence of a BCP Guarantee Insurance Company did not have one in place.
Irrespective of an organization’s complexity and size, a BCP is a necessity to remain compliant with laws and regulations applicable in the industry. OVERVIEW The maintenance and resumption of an organization’s operations may not be guaranteed by a BCP, although the existence of the BCP before a disruption relates directly to the organizations ability to recover. However, the assessment established that there is a presence of personnel and systems within the organization with the capability to steer it back business in a quick and resilient way.
That would enable the organization to continue providing the services that clients have grown accustomed to getting. With the fact that Guarantee Insurance Company operates over wide and diverse geographical regions, it is always affected negatively in various ways in the event of disasters, which makes a BCP necessary. RESULTS OF ASSESSMENT The assessment was able to categorize operations of the organization into critical and non-critical. If a major disruption to the critical operations occurred either in the industry or specifically within Guarantee Insurance Company, there is no plan to activate the sound continuity of business operations.
The availability of operational systems, devices and backup information that is categorized as critical is not secured. There is no data center, telecommunication and network redundancy, all of which not only have the company’s critical operational information, but also the company’s secrets that can be used by competitors to the organization’s disadvantage. With businesses increasingly relying on technology for marketing, communicating and transacting, it becomes a field that must be given priority in developing a BCP.
Hackers and internal, malicious employees can access the system and compromise it. APPROACH Responsibility of approving, implementing, decision-making and overall direction must be vested in the senior management team, mainly because it is the team that will activate the BCP especially when charges are declared on the organization following a disaster notification. This should be the practice as opposed to the senior management delegating its duties and responsibilities whenever they are held up in other managerial affairs. It is imperative to understand that the documentation of a BCP does not imply the completion of a project.
Rather, it is a plan that the senior management must continuously change and update as per the dynamics of the business world. A BCP that is not changed to accommodate the changing business environment will not serve its purpose in the even to of a major disruption (Elliot & Swartz, 2001). RECOMMENDATIONS It is recommended that the board of directors employ the services of professionals who will develop and document a BCP for Guarantee Insurance Company to be approved by the senior management and occasionally updated. References British Standards Institution (BSI).
(2006). Business continuity management-Part 1: Code of practice. London: Author. Cabinet Office. (2004). Civil Contingencies Act 2004. London: Civil Contingencies Secretariat. Elliot, D., & Swartz, E. (2001). Business continuity planning in the UK finance sector. Journal of Applied Management Studies, 8(2), 43-60.