ISO 22301 Business continuity refers to planning in advance in order to prepare an organization to continue to run its operation even in the event of emergencies. These emergencies can occur in the form of natural disaster, pandemic, business crisis, violence at workplace, etc. Thus, it is necessary for an organization to put in place, a Business Continuity Management System (BCMS). The planning and execution may vary among the organizations on the basis of their size, revenue or industry. ISO 22301 Certification is a set of standards prescribed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to ensure the business continuity of an organization.

Let us understand ISO 22301 Certification

  • The full name of this standard is ISO 22301:2019 Security and resilience- Business continuity management systems
  • It is applicable to all organizations irrespective of scale or sector.
  • It ensures that the organization is able to deliver goods and services at a pre-determined quantity even in the time of disruption.
  • It helps in building a resilient system to deal with any situation and meet all the business obligations.
  • ISO 22301:2019 is an upgraded version of ISO 22301:2012. The newer version is more flexible than the earlier one in terms of applicability in the organization.

How does ISO 22301 work?

  • Business Impact Analysis: This means thoroughly analyzing the priorities of the business for its continuity.
  • Risk Assessment: This is done to identify potential causes for business disruption.
  • Risk Mitigation: This involves planning out the safety measures to prevent those risks, as well as prepare the organization to recover easily and immediately from the incidence of disruption.

The strategies for BCMS are implemented in the form of policies and right physical and IT infrastructure. Implementation of ISO 22301 standard helps in planning, allocating resources, and involving the workforce in order to maintain the continuity of the business.

Some of the basic terms used in the standard

  • BCMS-This stands for Business Continuity Management System. It is a part of overall management system that includes planning, execution, maintaining and improving the system to ensure business continuity.
  • MAO- This stands for Maximum Acceptable Outage. It gives the maximum time for which the business can afford the disruption. It is also referred as Maximum Tolerable Period of Disruption (MTPD).
  • RPO- It stands for Recovery Point Objective. This gives an idea of a minimum data that should be restored to ensure business continuity.
  • RTO- It stands for Recovery Time Objective. This gives a pre-determined time within which the data should be recovered and restored.
  • MBCO- It stands for Minimum Business Continuity Objective. The minimum quantity of goods and services that the organization should produce in order to attain its objectives, is termed as MBCO.

What is the importance of ISO 22301 Certification?

  • A majority of nations have their own legislations that deal with the continuity of any business. Having ISO 22301 Certificate will enable an organization to comply with the legal requirements.
  • This will guarantee an advantage in the market with respect to the competitors who don’t have ISO 22301 certification. Retain ability of the customers is dependent upon the organization’s ability to build confidence that their operations are resilient to any kind of emergencies.
  • This certification lays down certain policies and process controls for business continuity, thus, reducing the dependability on few individuals for sustainability of the organization.
  • Implementing ISO 22301 standards prepares the organization in preventing or mitigating the effect of any kind of disruptions. Thus, it saves a lot of cost to the organization and prevents large-scale damage.

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