What is Business Continuity and Why Should It Be Part of Your Business Strategy

Recently we posted about the importance of disaster recovery to your business. A closely related topic is also equally important to your business: Business Continuity.

Business continuity takes disaster recovery even further. It’s not just about restoring systems, it’s about restoring your organization’s business processes and operations so that you can get back to work with minimal disruption. Learn more on today’s blog.

At Tolar Systems, we offer Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery services together (BCDR) to ensure that if disaster strikes, your business gets “back to business” as quickly as possible. What’s the difference between business continuity and disaster recovery?

One of the key differences between business continuity and disaster recovery is that business continuity has a business process focus Business continuity is about being able to operate the business in as normal a manner as possible after disaster strikes. It encompasses more than just IT concerns but a complete plan for getting back to work: contact and notification plans, damage assessments, roles and responsibilities, and more.

By contrast, disaster recovery is about preparing IT and other systems for a rapid response post-disaster, restoring the systems that your business depends on to normal operations. It includes security risk and vulnerability assessments, IT infrastructure hardening, data backups and other systems to facilitate a rapid response in case of a disaster. These reduce downtime and disruption to business operations.

Why is Business Continuity Key to Business Strategy?

Business continuity is key to your business strategy because of the high rate of closure for businesses that are affected by a disaster. FEMA estimates that as many as 60 percent of businesses impacted by disaster will close permanently, and 90 percent of small businesses fail within a year unless they can get back to normal operations within 5 days.

Recovery of business systems and data is part of what is necessary to buck these odds. But it’s just one part of what’s needed to get back to business after a disaster. Prevention and business planning also plays a role, as does communication and other human elements.

Your business strategy is all about the health, success and survival of your business, and the ability to continue operating when disaster strikes is just as essential to that as having a clearly defined target market or compelling product or service offering.

What Does Business Continuity Planning Include?

Business continuity goes beyond IT disaster recovery, to include things like:

  • Threat assessments, so you know what types of disasters are most likely to affect your business – whether they are human threats, cybersecurity risks, or natural disasters – and can plan to minimize their impact.
  • Business process mapping so it’s clearly understood which processes rely on which people and systems to operate normally.
  • Communications planning including contact lists, and emergency contact plans.
  • Evacuation plans, in the event that the disaster makes your regular place of business unsafe.
  • Data backup and disaster recovery plans so systems can be restored quickly after the disaster.

All of this planning requires cooperation and communication across the organization, as it impacts the entire business, not just IT. Training and documentation is also important since everyone needs to be on board with the plan and know how they fit into it.

Contact Tolar Systems About Business Continuity

If you’re ready to take the next step and develop a business continuity plan to protect the health of your business, contact us today.