Business continuity refers to an organisation’s ability to maintain operations even when disaster strikes. This is possibly the most important aspect of planning that companies of all sizes must consider to retain healthy processes even when disaster strikes.
ISO 22301 is the world’s best-known business continuity framework, which companies around the globe have adopted. Thanks to its robust set of requirements and constant need to audit, the key components offer a versatile range of controls that can be applied to any business scenario. When considering getting the ISO 22301 certification, developing a deep understanding of the components that create the overall framework is vital. A big part of ISO standards, in general, is to allow transparency and awareness to become embedded throughout organisations. Without this, success rates can fluctuate.
Keep reading to discover the key components of ISO 22301 and how you can best prepare your organisation for business continuity management.
What is The Purpose of ISO 22301?
Problems arise all of the time, but that is not something any business leader can be in control of. From extreme weather interrupting supply chains to IT system crashes that mean some forms of business will struggle, issues are always waiting to arise.
Business continuity aims to establish the protocols essential for responding to such disruptions to ensure that downtime is minimised and operations can proceed as quickly as possible. Companies with these plans in place not only run more efficiently when issues strike but also in general, as a culture of efficiency has been guaranteed.
ISO 22301 is an international standard from ISO that covers Business Continuity Management (BCM). By implementing a framework that can monitor issues and keep operations running smoothly at all times, this standard helps organisations to prevent, prepare for and respond to any unexpected incidents. As with the other ISO certifications, 22301 offers a structure to resolve the certain business areas for which it has been depicted. In this case, business continuity can be implemented and managed via a defined set of processes that the entire organisation has full visibility of.
Not only will companies struggle when unplanned events occur without having these plans in place, but they will also not be looked on as favourably by stakeholders compared to those who have taken the initiative to plan for worst-case scenarios. Click the link to learn more about what ISO 22301 is.
The Key Requirements of ISO 22301
ISO compliance implementation is done successfully once adherence to the outlined requirements has been met. In the case of ISO 22301, ten sections, otherwise known as clauses, confirm the requirements in detail. There are subsections to pay attention to that help companies craft fully compliant frameworks.
It is clauses four through ten that contain the aspects which must be applied to a company’s business continuity plan. As a result, the key requirements of ISO 22301 are as follows:
Clause 4 – Context: The understanding of how the wider 22301 standard applies to a particular business and its associated operations.
This clause requires each person and process to align completely with the business’s goals. The scope of how ISO 22301 works for each business will be different. Still, commonalities can be found in the services, people, products and industry-specific risks that may be contributing factors. Context is essential to successfully create documents and processes that meet 22301 standards and effectively protect operations.
Clause 5 – Leadership: The outlining of who has responsibilities associated with 22301 and what role each person plays in times of having to execute the continuity plan.
This must be documented via published processes and be available for all stakeholders to view. ISO encourages communication and transparency which comes from the very top. Without this, the authority aspect of the framework is reduced which reduces overall effectiveness.
Clause 6 – Planning: By outlining known risks and plans that could work in times of unprecedented disruptions, ISO 22301 is much more effective.
ISO requires all planning, including research and implementation of new processes, to be documented and assessed via the auditing process. Planning must also be shown to be something incorporated into company-wide operations, as this highlights awareness of risks specific to the business in question.
Clause 7 – Support: As well as leadership, the wider set of roles and additional support that may be required must be highlighted.
This includes resources, such as people and technology, and evidence of how these elements have been scoped out. This might be training, in the case of employees, or even a testing log for new technology. The main goal is that any support is highlighted and chosen for its suitability to ensure long-term continuity.
Clause 8 – Operation: This refers to the way in which the business continuity plan should work and what responsibilities the entire framework has.
This includes planning, testing and using the BCM in everyday activities. The operations side of things is important as they look different for every business. By understanding what operations occur, the continuity plan can encompass how to protect them.
ISO 22301 requires this to be defined at each level. For example, it could refer to something as simple as having a team member available to fill a certain person’s shoes should they not be around. Alternatively, a company-wide cyber security breach could require each set of assets to be protected. Whatever the operation, ISO 22301 requires it to be included within the framework for complete compliance.
Clause 9 – Performance evaluation: The ISO 22301 audit plan requires performance to be assessed to see if any areas need more investment.
All audits and performance assessments must be documented for full compliance with 22301.
Clause 10 – Improvement: As well as looking at performance, a clear process must be included within the framework to understand when improvements need to take place.
A testing, analysis and evaluation process is essential for this, with all information being recorded within the ISO documentation. When external audits occur, the assessors will want to see that companies have taken the time to assess their BCM plans and make changes if required. This is important as, ultimately, it makes for a strong damage resolution process should it be needed.
Who Is ISO 22301 Ideal For?
The beauty of the requirements outlined within ISO 22301 is that it shows the award is perfect for all businesses. Business continuity plans are an essential part of operations as without them, the smallest of issues could lead to a large, company-wide impact which is hard to recover from.
How Can Creative Networks Assist With ISO 22301?
Are you now more convinced than ever before that ISO 22301 is right for your organisation? If so, Creative Networks is the ideal support system for your business.
We have experts ready to support you, from the top level of our leadership team to our support teams who work directly with companies. We are passionate about ISO as an organisation, which is reflected in our thorough services. If you want an extension of your business with all the knowledge available about ISO 22301, we are your team. Click this link to learn more about who we are.
We have also already helped lots of companies become ISO compliant. Just check out our case studies for examples of our recent work.
Wider IT services
Another reason that our ISO services are so highly regarded is that we have skills pertaining to all areas of IT management. This means we apply useful fixes to the ISO requirements and also offer wider support with different areas. From cyber security to IT support, we have got you covered.
Get in touch now to speak to our team about how we could support your company.
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