Business Continuity Planning: A brief outline

14 Jan

Business continuity planning is an essential future plan for a business in order to provide a service without any factors affecting its performance. A business can never foresee future events such as a crime, natural disaster, IT failure, power failure, fire etc. However if a business has a plan in place to deal with such events, then the essential functions of a business are fail safe and a business can provide an uninterrupted service. Business continuity planning can be defined as “”identifies an organization’s exposure to internal and external threats and synthesizes hard and soft assets to provide effective prevention and recovery for the organization, while maintaining competitive advantage and value system integrity” [1]. A business continuity plan should use the following 3 steps when developing a plan:

“1. Identify major risks of business interruption.

2. Develop a plan to mitigate or reduce the impact of the identified risk.

3. Train employees and test the plan to ensure that it is effective” [2]

 business-continuity-full-1

Figure 1: Business Continuity Plan [3]

As illustrated in figure 1, it outlines different threats associated with an organisation and identifies risk planning associated with business continuity planning. I wish I had a recovery plan in place, my laptop crashed and died earlier and I lost all my work so I now know how frustrating it can be on a personal level if work is lost. I can’t imagine how disruptive it can be for a business to lose its work.

When developing a business continuity plan the following items should be included in the plan and illustrated in figure 2:

  • “The command structure for crisis management, along with full contact details and capability profiles
  • Roles and responsibilities during disaster recovery, along with full contact details and capability profiles
  • Details of services and equipment available to be utilized during recovery
  • Details of all the steps in the recovery process, both to get an initial basic operation up and running, and for full restoration of business
  • Plans for training the staff who would be involved in the process
  • Plans for testing the systems that are involved in the recovery
  • Plans for maintaining and updating the recovery system, including maintaining all machinery and computers in a fully operational state” [3].

 business-continuity-full-2

Figure 2: Recovery Plan [3]

In conclusion, the completion of Business Continuity Plans will ensure that an organisation can continue to provide essential services during times of disruption.

This is a brief outline in business continuity planning. I will develop upon these steps in future blogs but I just wanted to give a brief synopsis of what is involved and the reasons for a business continuity plan.

[1] Wikipedia

[2] Virginia Cerullo and Michael J. Cerullo (2004) Business Continuity  Planning:  A Comprehensive  Approach

[3] http://www.novamind.com/blog/2011/articles/business-continuity/

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2 Responses to “Business Continuity Planning: A brief outline”

  1. jamesdaly1990 January 16, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    Superb blog billynomates. Its seems as though there is quite an extensive body of thought behind the concept of Business Continuity Planning. The images utilised are concise and coherent and give a great representation of the concept. I wonder, however, how effective can business continuity planning be when a fire wreaks havoc or even, as you describe, your laptop crashes? I’m looking forward to learning more about the theory and pragmatism of Business Continuity Planning in the coming weeks.

  2. mirra2 January 19, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Very interesting blog billynomates2012. Sorry that your computer has crashed. I would like to know more about those risks associated with business continuity plan in your future blog, by the way I did some research myself also found that business continuity plan has some benefits too. There is multiplicity of benefits in planning for Business Continuity within the organization.

    Not only with data, hardware, software, etc., or better protection, but the people that compose the organization will be better safeguarded when a disaster occur. In addition, employees will be informed and rehearsed as to what actions to take to immediately start the recovery process and ensure business continuity if disaster strikes.

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