What is a Business Continuity Plan?

A Business Continuity Plan is a detailed plan to help an organization navigate operational and technical challenges during a major system outage or process disruption.

Business Continuity Plans are more than IT plans or disaster recovery plans, they also involve personnel, facilities, services, goods, external vendors, and business processes.

For many industries such as healthcare, finance, and government, Business Continuity Plans are required to meet compliance regulations.

Whether or not your organization is required to have a plan, it is a best practice for any company to create and regularly test their Business Continuity Plan to guide them through difficult system disruptions.

Business Continuity Planning Steps

Creating a Business Continuity Plan can be a lengthy and resource-intensive effort for any organization.  The planning and teamwork required to create a plan can be taxing on your organization and will require strong individuals prepared to do tough work.

The total effort required to create a Business Continuity Plan depends upon the following criteria:

  • Size of the organization
  • Nature of services the organization provides
  • Need to continue offering services during a disaster or incident 
  • Scope of the Information System Assets that must be recovered or replaced

For smaller organizations, creating a Business Continuity Plan may take a few hours and only involve a single person to line it out.  For other companies, the process of creating a plan can take weeks to months and bring in representatives from multiple departments and teams.

Business Continuity Plan Topics

While every Business Continuity Plan is unique, they all cover the following areas of concern:

  • Initial response.
    Identify and grade the criticality of key Information System Assets.  Should an asset become compromised, what are the initial steps to be taken?
  • Relocation.
    Determine whether assets, such as people or computer systems, must be relocated.  What assets are critical to continuing business operations?
  • Recovery.
    Ensure all assets have a Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and a Recovery Time Objective (RTO); create processes to achieve these objectives.  Which assets must be recovered and in what order?
  • Restoration.
    With recovery in place and systems back online to maintain the business, a larger plan for the overall restoration of the business and how normal operations will be achieved must also be considered.

Business Continuity Technology

Cloud Backup Technology

Off-site data cloud backups ensure both information and applications are accessible to you even when your primary business location is offline. Additionally a VPN or remote desktop solution is necessary in order to bring this data online and make it usable for displaced employees.

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Cloud Solutions & Virtual Desktops

Cloud solutions replace your need to house additional servers in a remote city for use during disasters since they enable backups to be accessible at short notice. These combined with ready-to-use virtual desktops ensure your business stability.

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Remote Support Desk

Even a business with local IT support may be temporarily without assistance while the disaster is impacting the area. Supplementing IT support with a remote IT company ensures you get the support you need when you need it most.

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Business Continuity Plan

Need Business Continuity Planning Help?

Server At Work employs professional Information System Auditors to guide and manage Business Continuity Planning before, during, and after disasters.