Business continuity part 1: What is business continuity?

By: Neil Alhanti

You don’t need me to tell you that the world is a little crazy right now. All you have to do is turn on the news to see all the chaos, disease, and instability that’s happening globally. Business continuity is one of the tools that enterprises can use to protect themselves against disruption. We’re going to be exploring business continuity in a series of blog posts here at IT Biz Advisor.

What is business continuity?

Is your enterprise prepared for disaster? How will your business respond when faced with disruption? What are the threats that your business is most at risk of and how can it be bolstered against them?

Business continuity is meant to answer these questions.

INAP defines business continuity as “an organization’s ability to ensure operations and core business functions are not severely impacted by a disaster or unplanned incident that take critical systems offline”.

MHA Consulting argues that business continuity includes the “advance planning and preparation undertaken” by an organization in an effort to lessen the impact of disruption and allow the business to continue “to operate it’s critical business functions”.

Business continuity and disaster recovery

Techopedia defines business continuity in tandem with disaster recovery, stating “Business continuity and disaster recovery (DR) is a set of processes and techniques used to help an organization recover from a disaster and continue or resume routine business operations”. Techopedia notes BCDR can be divided into two respective phases or components: business continuity (BC) is one and disaster recovery (DR) is the other.

BC focuses on “the business operations side of BCDR [and] involves designing and creating policies and procedures” that allow the business to continue to function during the initial disruption and afterward the disruption. DR focuses on IT and “how an organization’s IT department [recovers] from a natural or artificial disaster”.

When it comes to dealing with disasters, most organizations have either an integrated BCDR plan or a separate BC plan and DR plan for dealing with disruptions.

Business continuity management and business continuity planning

Techopedia defines business continuity management (BCM) as “the management of core conceptual resources that address future threats to a business and help business leaders handle the impacts of these threats”. BCM is arguably very similar to business continuity planning (BCP), which is “[planning] to ensure business processes can continue during [an emergency] or disaster”. Both BCM and BCP help organizations to identify and respond to potential disruptions before they occur.

Ready to take the next step? Schedule a consultation with an IBM Business Continuity Services expert.

Related topic: Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

IBM products related to business continuity plans

Understand how to plan for and react when business disruptions are happening.

Adapt and respond to risks with a business continuity plan (BCP)

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What is an RPO (recovery point objectives)?

About The Author

Neil Alhanti

Senior Writer, IBM Global Technology Services

Neil Alhanti is a content marketing writer, wordsmith and editor extraordinaire with IBM Global Technology Services. He spends his days crafting conversational communications across multiple mediums and otherwise “fighting the good fight and writing the good write.”