Like all plans, there is an ultimate goal to achieve. The goal in a business continuity plan is simply that: to continue your business in the face of a disaster or a disruption. A business continuity plan is not just for a disaster. It’s also for the smaller things in life, like your friendly neighborhood burglar who decides to borrow all of your computers or the small power interruption, which causes loss of data and downtime or the fire five floors below you, which causes a 5 hour building shutdown. These are a few of the many things, which do occur every day and do happen to companies like yours.
Disaster recovery has traditionally been associated with computing systems and data storage and recovery of data. Different than business continuity, disaster recovery is focused more on after the fact, quickly and effectively recovering from a disaster or disruption.
There are many good sources of information on both business continuity and disaster recovery. Some of the more authoritative sources are: Disaster Recovery International (www.drii.org), Disaster Recovery Journal (www.drj.com), and Global Continuity (www.globalcontinuity.com).
It’s, of course, not realistic to think that you can guard against every risk. However, through risk analysis, business impact analysis, selecting effective strategies, documenting detailed recovery plans and testing your plans, you can significantly reduce many of your risks, often in a very cost effective way. You have an important management responsibility to safeguard company assets. Reducing your risk profile through a well thought out business continuity and disaster recovery plan is an effective way to do so.