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Business continuity is the ability of an organization to maintain essential functions during, as well as after, a disaster has occurred. Business continuity planning establishes risk management processes and procedures that aim to prevent interruptions to mission-critical services, and re-establish full function to the organization as quickly and smoothly as possible.
The most basic business continuity requirement is to keep essential functions up and running during a disaster and to recover with as little downtime as possible.
Similar to a business continuity plan, disaster recovery planning specifies an organization’s planned strategies for post-failure procedures. However, a disaster recovery plan is just a subset of business continuity planning.
Disaster recovery is mainly data focused, concentrating on storing data in a way that can be more easily accessed following a disaster. Business continuity takes this into account, but also focuses on the risk management, oversight and planning an organization needs to stay operational during a disruption.
Benefits of Business Continuity
If you’ve adopted a set of business continuity standards you can rest assured that your business is compliant with industry mandates. Even if you don’t have regulations to adhere to, compliance with standards provides proof to stakeholders that you’re running your business responsibly. It also gives you a blueprint that virtually guarantees the success of your program, and makes it easier to execute.
By working with a knowledgeable and trustworthy DRaaS provider, you have access to the necessary skills required for effective DR planning. Additionally, you never have to worry about capital outlay for expensive disaster recovery technologies and the staff needed to perform updates, track changes, carry out the most recent best practices in DR, perform infrastructure maintenance and more.
Protects Your Reputation
Businesses that aren’t prepared to handle disruptions risk appearing incompetent to the public should an event arise, possibly stumbling over next steps and mishandling communication. Your BC program is the engine behind a smooth recovery, and preserves your carefully crafted brand value and the stellar reputation you’ve worked hard to achieve.
Business continuity activities produce tons of data—critical business units, critical tasks, recovery time objectives, financial impacts of a disruption, etc. It’s like having an encyclopedia of valuable data about your company’s operations.
Internally, employees who are well-versed in continuity plans gain confidence, too—they know what they need to do should a crisis arise. But an unexpected benefit of business continuity planning is that employees are also more adept at handling daily, smaller disruptions. They automatically assess the levels of risk associated with new activities, and are better able to maneuver business operations quickly and smoothly.
Businesses that are transparent about their ongoing business continuity efforts are communicating something very powerful to their customers: We are putting the right pieces and parts in place so we can be there for you—no matter what. The fact that you’re showing a high level of commitment to business continuity builds confidence among customers, as well as other outside parties you do business with.