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Today's business world needs business continuity

The very last thing a company wants is business interruptions. They cause financial losses and damage the company's image. But in recent years in particular, business interruptions have become more frequent. In addition to hacker attacks and technical breakdowns, the causes include corona-related actions that have brought global supply chains to a partial standstill.

In this context, many companies have recognized the importance of business continuity management. Another challenge is posed by modern IT systems, which are usually hybrid solutions. Such systems are particularly vulnerable because some services are provided by the company's own data center, while others are provided by external service providers. Business continuity management ensures that the continuity of operations is not interrupted or that alternative operations can be offered.

Business continuity: strategically counteracting operational disruptions

The term business continuity management originates from business administration and encompasses various strategies and plans for maintaining operational processes, the interruption of which would cause significant damage to the company. The goal is to ensure the continuity of the company and to be able to intervene with an appropriate strategy in the event of a risk. Depending on the particular disaster scenario, a different response is set in motion.

What are typical disaster scenarios?

Business interruptions can have various causes. IT failures and natural disasters such as floods or fires are typical. However, staff absences due to illness, as is the case in a pandemic, for example, can also cause considerable damage. In addition, there are cyberattacks and problems in the supply chain, which in turn can be caused by various events. The greatest risk to uninterrupted operations is clearly in the IT area. IT failures, data protection breakdowns and data theft are the most common. Recently, the damage that a pandemic can cause has also become apparent. Thus, taking preventive measures in the event of a global pandemic has become a burning concern for many businesses.

What does business continuity look like in practice?

A good emergency plan specifically counteracts a particular risk. This means that the strategy in question must be tailored to a specific disaster scenario. It is not always possible to completely eliminate a risk. Rather, a plan should be in place that allows operations to continue without significant financial loss despite threats. One worthwhile strategy to protect against business interruption in the event of an IT failure is to set up a parallel IT system. The situation is different if the plan is aimed at preventing staff shortages. If a pandemic or flu epidemic is announced, increased hygiene measures should be taken.

Business continuity: from analysis to organization

The first step in business continuity management is to analyze potential risks. It must be determined how crisis situations can affect the company. The second step is to develop concrete plans that will be used in specific scenarios. A continuity team is responsible for implementation. The team is trained accordingly to be able to apply the plan smoothly in an emergency. After the crisis situation has been overcome, it is essential to research the cause in order to be able to react even faster and better in similar situations in the future.

Beitragsfoto: Shutterstock, WOTAN Monitoring, GH-Informatik GmbH

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