When you’re overseeing your company’s operations, you should leave no stone unturned to keep everything running smoothly. In industry speak, it’s known as business continuity management.

Since companies are dealing with all sorts of disruption—from IT security issues to natural disasters and other risk-related incidents, it’s a must for organizations to plan for such events beforehand. Otherwise, there might be losses or damages resulting from these disruptive scenarios. It is along these principles that ISO 22301 was established.

As the international standard for business continuity management, ISO 22301 offers guidelines on how companies should respond in times of business disruption. This post breaks down the concept of BCM concerning ISO 22301 to help you understand its significance to your business.

 

ISO 22301 Basics: What You Need to Know

What is ISO 22301?

ISO 22301, also known as ISO 22301: 2012 Societal security – Business continuity management systems – Requirements, is a standard for BCM used by organizations operating globally. It’s a product of collaboration between experts in BCM who determined an ideal framework for organizations based on industry trends and insights.

 

How was ISO 22301 developed?

The rise of IT-related system controls against terrorism and natural disasters from the 1980s to the 1990s urged the growth of a BCM-ready culture among companies. This mindset cascaded into governments and regulators who stepped in to make sure that major business players had their BCM in place.

The goal was to keep business disruptions at bay to ensure delivery of essential products and services to the general public. At the same time, companies needed their business partners and suppliers to commit that they would continue to provide the deliverables at all times, even when faced with disruptions.

At the time, UK companies who sought to have their management systems certified for the first time had to comply with British Standard (BS) 25999. A similar benchmark was then needed to cater to multinational enterprises so that there would be a single international standard to unify BCM as a business process across industries.

 

What benefits does ISO 22301 offer to your business?

First and foremost, you can help your organization take a proactive approach with an ISO 22301 BCM standard, as you get to identify and manage existing and potential threats to the business.

Also, with ISO 22301 at the core of your business principles and practices, your organization can cope better when disruptive incidents crop up. Specifically, you can better and more appropriately respond to challenges brought about by extreme weather and natural disasters like flood and fire, as well as cyber attacks, terrorism, or system shutdown among others since you already have a plan that’s all set for implementation if the situation calls for it. That plan will enable you to keep critical functions up and running during times of crises with minimal downtimes and improved recovery time.

Being accredited with an ISO 22301 certification signifies your organization’s compliance with good BCM practices as well. Regulators, auditors, suppliers, clients, and would-be customers would see you as a responsible entity that puts BCM standard into action. Internally speaking, your organization’s BCM unit can rightfully claim that a recognized benchmark has been met for the company.

Last but not least, the benefits of ISO 22301 are right for all organizations, given that the negative impact of disruptions to businesses can be equally substantial regardless of the type and size of business.

 

Are there challenges to implementing ISO 22301 BCM standard?

ISO 22301 is a regulatory requirement that you need to comply with. It is on top of the general business operations you need to oversee, which could be rather taxing. Plus, you’d want to make sure that you do implement not only a recognized standard across industries but also one that’s suitable for the organization.

Remember that each division is functioning separately from one another, with business objectives that differ from one department to the next.

 

Parting Words

You probably have heard of the proverb, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s not always the case, though. The prime shakers and movers in business have such acuity to know that aside from competition, the next big challenge is knowing (or not knowing, for that matter) what the future holds for their company.

As an antidote, business owners and leaders should regularly and consistently brace for the unexpected. That said, they should actively seek for ways to improve the way their business is run. ISO 22301 is a way toward that goal.

Management would do well to send a principal representative to a Combined Lead Auditor course who can help the company implement and comply with ISO 22301 standards.

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