The business continuity plan describes the policies and guidelines that the company must follow in the face of such disasters; it includes business processes, assets, human resources, business partners and more.
Fremont, CA:Business continuity (BC) refers to sustaining or commencing business operations rapidly in the event of significant interruption, whether triggered by fire, flood or malicious cyber-crime attacks. The business continuity plan describes the policies and guidelines that the company must follow in the face of such disasters; it includes business processes, assets, human resources, business partners and more.
Many people claim that the disaster recovery (DR) strategy is the same as the business continuity plan, but the DR plan focuses more on rebuilding IT infrastructure and post-crisis operations. It's only one aspect of a full business continuity strategy since the BC plan looks at the continuity of the whole company.
If your organization does not have a BC plan in place, start with an assessment of your business processes, determine which areas are highly susceptible, and the consequential loss if those processes go down for a day a few days or a week. It's essentially a BIA.
Next, develop a plan. This involves six general steps:
• Find the scope of the plan.
• Find key business areas.
• Find critical functions.
• Find dependencies between various business areas and functions.
• Establish acceptable downtime for each critical function.
• Build a plan to maintain operations.
A standard business continuity planning tool is a checklist that includes resources and equipment, location of data backups and backup sites where the plan is available and who should have it, and contact details for emergency services, key personnel and backup providers.
Know that the disaster recovery plan is part of the business continuity plan, so creating a disaster recovery plan if you don't already have one should be part of the process. As you formulate your strategy, consider interviewing key people in organizations who have successfully been through the disaster. People usually want to tell "war stories" and the measures and strategies that saved the day. Their insights may prove extremely useful in helping you build a sound strategy.