Business continuity part 2: How is business continuity used?

By: Neil Alhanti

In part 1, asked the question “Is your enterprise prepared for disaster?” and argued how business continuity (BC) answer this. We asked the question “what is business continuity” and explored the different definitions of BC.

For part 2, we’re going to explore how business continuity is used and what business continuity is used against.

Business continuity redux

As we mentioned in part 1, BC is an organization’s ability to keep its operations and core business functions working despite the impacts of a disaster or similar disruption that would otherwise shut down that organization’s critical systems. Business continuity planning (BCP) is the process to ensure that business functions either continue functioning or quickly resume functioning after a set amount of time. BCP is also used to determine what losses are acceptable and to keep the organizational stakeholders informed during incidents involving disaster or disruption.¹

BCP is similar to business continuity management (BCM), “the management of core conceptual resources that address future threats to a business and help business leaders handle the impacts of these threats”.² Both BCP and BCM are used by organizations to identify and respond to potential disruptions before they occur. Also, both BCP and BCM share similarities with disaster recovery and disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), and with recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO). We’ll talk more about disaster recovery in another post.

How is technology used to help business continuity?

INAP notes that “implementing redundant IT infrastructure and contingency plans were once prohibitively expensive for all but the largest of organization.” Economical, on-demand cloud technologies have helped to reduce the cost of today’s modern business continuity strategies, ensuring that businesses everywhere have access to them.

Some examples of technology services used for business continuity include the following:

  • Cloud data backups
  • Cloud-based DRaaS
  • Managed security plans

What are the biggest threats to business continuity?

Technology services help support business continuity by protecting your business against infrastructure outages and sophisticated cyber attacks, but these aren’t the only types of disruption that you should be aware of. There are several different events that can result in digital disruption to your business. It’s important to understand each of these causes of disruption to increase your resilience against them.

  • Natural disasters and local disasters: Fires, floods, and earthquakes can result in data loss and system failure. Try to prevent any simple electronic malfunctions that could result in destruction or loss of critical data.
  • Network failures: Third party networks crash, fiber gets damaged, in-house local area networks get disabled. To ensure that your business has continuous connectivity, make network availability a top priority with your internet service provider.
  • Cyber attacks: There are a staggering number of known cyber attacks and new cyber threats constantly emerging. Businesses can’t ignore the importance of cyber security and cyber resilience in protecting themselves. Frequent data backups are a crucial part of ensuring that your business continues to operate after a data breach or ransomware attack.
  • Human error: Everyone makes mistakes and disruption can be the result of simple ignorance, simple mistakes, or even something malicious. Ensure that your employees are properly trained on how to prevent disruption and on what to do when disruption does 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)

How to defend against cyber attacks

Do you have your disaster recovery plan (DRP)?

Defend against ransomware attacks?

What is data breach and how to defend against one?

What is a recovery time objective (RTO) and how does it affect disaster recovery for your enterprise?

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.”