Business Continuity Plan


Business Continuity Planning is a strategic plan to help a company to continue its normal operation even at the time of disasters such as Natural Calamity, Hardware / Software Failure and so on.

It helps to find out the potential risks, also determines the risk factors caused by the potential risks, defining and implementing procedures to overcome the risks, test the practical procedure that will work out and review the process periodically to make sure that the process is up to date.

Here is a sample Business Continuity Plan :

  • Analyze the possible Potential Risks that will affect the normal functionality of the Business.
  • Preparation of Primary tasks to keep the business running normally.
  • Make readily available Management Contact Information.
  • BCP should instruct the Personnel, on how to reach the Backup Site, in the event of a disaster.
  • Information on data backups and Organization Backup site.
  • Collaboration with all the departments of the Organization.
  • Cascading the information properly to everyone in the Organization.

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5 Steps for Building a Business Continuity Plan

Where do you fit on this spectrum? Are you one of the six in 10 businesses that do not feel confident of survival in the face of a disaster?

Building a robust business continuity program can be an intimidating task, especially when you turn to the bookshelves and find tomes several inches thick on the topic. However, it doesn’t need to be that way. By following five simple steps, you can implement a solid business continuity strategy that will keep your critical operations functioning in the event of a disaster.

Step 1: Project Management & Initiation

  • Need an Effective Risk Analysis
  • Proper Approval from the Business Management
  • Form relevant teams for the execution of the BCP (Technical, Functional team)
  • Create an Effective Business Continuity Plan
  • Approval of the Business Continuity Plan from the Management

Step 2: Business Impact & Analysis (BIA)

  • Need to get proper approval from the Management on the Maximum Tolerable Downtime (MTD) for each time  Critical Business Resource.
  • Quantifies the loss due to the Outage.
  • Phases of BIA:
    • Gathering information from various sources about the Business Impact
    • Prepare a customized questionnaire and analyze the collected information.
    • Identify the time-critical business functions
    • Assign the MTDs
    • Categorize the Critical Business Functions based on the MTDs.
    • Prepare detailed recovery options.
    • Obtain proper approval from the Management.

Step 3: Recovery Strategies

  • Prepare the Recovery Strategies based on the Maximum Tolerable Downtime.
  • Obtain proper approval from the Management.
  • Strategies should address recovery of:
    • Business operations
    • Facilities & supplies
    • Users (workers and end-users)
    • Network, data center (technical)
    • Data (off-site backups of data and applications)
  • Technical Recovery Strategies – Scope:
    • Data Center
    • Networks
    • Telecommunications
  • Technical Recovery Strategies  Methods:
    • Subscription services
    • Mutual aid agreements
    • Redundant data centers
  • Technical recovery strategies subscription service sites
    • Hot  fully equipped
    • Warm missing key components
    • Cold empty data center
    • Mirror full redundancy
    • Mobile trailer full of computers
  • Technical recovery strategies data
    • Backups of data and applications
    • Off-site vs. on-site storage of media
    • How fast can data be recovered?
    • How much data can you lose?
    • Security of off-site backup media
    • Types of backups (full, incremental, differential, etc.)

Step 4: Plan Design & Development

  • The detailed plan for recovery
    • Business & service recovery plans
    • Maintenance
    • Awareness & training
    • Testing
  • Sample plan phases
    • Initial disaster response
    • Resume critical business ops
    • Resume non-critical business ops
    • Restoration (return to a primary site)
    • Interacting with external groups (customers, media, emergency responders)

Step 5: Testing and Maintenance Program

  • Testing
    • Kinds of testing
      • Structured walk-through
      • Checklist
      • Simulation
      • Parallel
      • Full interruption
  • Maintenance
    • Fix problems found in testing
    • Implement change management
    • Audit and address audit findings
    • Annual review of a plan
  • Build a plan into an organization
  • Training
    • BCP team is probably the DR team
    • BCP training must be on-going
    • BCP training needs to be part of the standard on-boarding and part of the corporate culture.

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