Experts Discuss the Importance and Advantages of Business Continuity Plans

By Andy Marker | August 25, 2020 (updated October 14, 2021)

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on LinkedIn

Link copied

Experts make the case for developing a business continuity plan so that disruptions don’t negatively affect your operations, when they inevitably arise. 

Included on this page, you’ll learn the importance and benefits of business continuity planning (BCP) , and how a strong plan helps staff in a crisis . Plus, find a PowerPoint business continuity argument template to help make the case for embracing business continuity in your company.

What Is a Business Continuity Plan?

A business continuity plan (BCP) is part of a business continuity management system (BCMS), and includes the procedures an organization must follow in an emergency. The document also contains steps for recovery in the days and months after the incident.

One part of a BCP is the disaster recovery plan , which contains plans for IT and technical continuity. An organization can follow specific steps to write its business continuity plan, or hire an outside consultant. For details on writing a BCP, read "How to Write a Business Continuity Plan” ,

Importance of a Business Continuity Plan

A strong business continuity plan can reduce risks during a crisis, and helps ensure that the company can continue to provide goods or services and earn income by detailing how to respond during and after an incident. 

An often-quoted statistic claims that 40 percent of businesses never recover from a disaster . Although some experts question the statistic’s sources, it stands to reason that recovering from a major disruption is tough. After all, staying in business can be difficult, even during the best of times.

Alex Fullick

As business continuity consultant Alex Fullick, General Manager at Stone Road , explains, "I think the global pandemic has proven that everybody and every organization, no matter what size, needs the ability to respond and recover from any sort of eventuality, whether large or small. If anyone still has the mindset that it's going to happen to someone else, they're probably going to go out of business."

As natural disasters and data breaches become more frequent, the question is not if, but when a disruptive event will take place.

Business continuity plans can help an organization address the following issues before disruption occurs:

  • People Don't Know What to Do in a Disaster: Proactively creating plans and training employees ensures a safe and timely recovery. When you've identified sensitive and critical functions ahead of time, you can better plan to execute quickly when a crisis occurs. 
  • Insurance Isn't a Solution: An organization may acquire insurance plans for healthcare, vehicles, or fixtures and equipment replacement. However, insurance can't cover the loss of customers who turn to other companies when you can't fulfill orders or reimburse you for a lost reputation.
  • Creating a Plan Is an Investment in Your Company: Although a BCP may carry fixed costs in training, wages, or equipment, the plan will get your company up and running ASAP in a disaster. For more about budgeting for a business continuity plan, read “ Business Continuity Planning: How to Do It Well .”

Business continuity can also provide a competitive edge. As the following examples show, companies that pursue business continuity are first to get back to work after a disaster.

  • Fire swept through the facilities of Cantey Technology, a consultancy and server host, destroying cables and hardware. However, a business continuity plan gave the company the foresight to implement a redundant offsite data center with regularly scheduled backups, which ensured seamless, continued service for clients. 
  • In another instance of a fire, this time at a telecom provider, redundant network infrastructure and solid incident planning enabled the company to restore service within six hours of a fire reaching the switching center. 
  • Even though they were located on the second floor, Houston-based Gaille Media’s offices were destroyed during Hurricane Harvey. Since they stored their data and critical documents in the cloud, however, they continued to serve customers throughout the disruption, with staff working remotely. 

"I find myself a little frustrated with some planners who have said, ‘Oh, they're busy updating their pandemic plan now,’" Fullick adds. "What do you mean you're updating your plan on people's availability? Don't you already have plans in place for, let's say, the winter flu season when you're missing 20 percent of your staff because they're all at home with the flu?"

How Business Continuity Helps Different Departments

Importance of business continuity for the supply chain .

Supply chain disruptions can be crippling, and a BCP can help sustain inventory levels. A business impact analysis (BIA) can reveal risks to key vendors’ ability to make and deliver goods in a crisis, so you can plan ahead. 

Toyota plants in North America demonstrate how a broken supply chain shut down production thousands of miles away. After the 2011 Fukushima earthquake in Japan, Japanese parts manufacturers went offline. When Toyota plants in southern Ontario couldn’t get parts for the assembly line, the company had to lay off many employees. 

"Companies are starting to realize they can be impacted, [and] not just directly by an upstream supplier that sends them something. That supplier can be impacted, too, and the effect trickles down,” Fullick explains. “[As] you see in the news, companies are starting to think more locally, rather than internationally. Companies have more control over a supplier or a vendor who is local, in the same state or province or country, than [they do] over a supplier in another country."

Ask how your suppliers will respond to a disruption to determine if they have a business continuity plan. Then, work that information into your BCP.

Importance of Business Continuity to Small Business

Small business owners often think they are exempt from crises — but when large-scale events occur, they can be among the first casualties. Almost a quarter of companies that do reopen fail within a year; having a BCP is essential to recovery.

"Unfortunately, some people think it won't happen to us ," says Fullick. "That carefree attitude is no longer tenable, especially after a pandemic that affected everyone."

Tony Bombacino

For Tony Bombacino, business continuity is a daily practice. He is the co-founder and President of Real Food Blends , a private company that makes whole foods for people with feeding tubes. “I'm always thinking to myself, 'What am I not thinking about?'” he says. “I spend a lot of time thinking about what might happen, and how to be ready for it.”

Bombacino also believes that business continuity preparedness starts outside of the business continuity plan. "It starts up front with contract negotiation” he says. “Cash is king in a small business.”

Real Food Blends doesn’t produce or pack their products, so it’s important that his manufacturing partners are large, stable, and have their own well-defined business continuity plans. If his partners aren’t prepared for handling disruption, his business might not be able to survive.

Importance of Business Continuity to IT

Most companies rely on IT to maintain services like the internet and Voice over IP (VoIP). The team also stores documents and runs machines. Without IT, a business is unworkable. Therefore, a business continuity plan for IT is crucial.

Importance of Business Continuity Planning in Crisis Management

Crisis management is part of a business continuity plan. Business continuity provides the overall approach for protecting human and other resources, and ensures that vital processes keep running. Crisis management focuses on communications and decision-making.

The Importance of Governance in Business Continuity Management

Effective governance is key to sustaining business continuity efforts. Governance starts with the business continuity policy, and the support of leadership ensures the plan always covers new risks.

However, not everyone thinks that governance always addresses all the correct questions. "Traditionally, governance tends to focus on how many scenarios your plan covers," explains Fullick. "It covers a flood, it covers fire, it covers an earthquake, a tornado, and a hurricane. You need a different plan for each one. Five plans. Each department has five plans, but do they contain the right detail?”

The Importance of Business Continuity to HR and People

Crises do not only impact tools and buildings — they also affect human well-being. If you understand how disasters change lives, you can better help staff manage their emotional and physical tolls. 

benefits of business continuity planning

"We bring our whole selves to work," says Debbie Rosemont, a productivity consultant and Certified Professional Organizer at Simply Placed , a business consulting firm. "I don't take my emotions, or what happened to me before I came to work, and set that outside. Who I am and how I feel shapes my ability to work and produce. When businesses or companies think about continuity plans, they've got to consider the whole person and how an event or disruption might impact somebody, even if it happens outside of work."

Disruptions can prevent people from coming to work. Illness, like a flu outbreak, may keep them at home. Damaged roads and train systems (that can occur after an earthquake) can hinder their commute. Whether employees commute to the office or work remotely, some of the following concerns may distract them from their duties:

  • They fear they will be laid off.
  • They've lost loved ones.
  • They have a financial burden and are anxious about economic losses.
  • They've suffered a disruption to their living arrangements with a loss of personal effects from a natural or human-made disaster.

Michele Barry

"When there are job losses, when people don't know when they're going to get their next gig,  when some people have lost numerous family members, this is extreme grief," says Michele Barry , Principal Consultant at Fortis Consulting. "You need your cloud system as your recovery system. You need an evacuation plan. You need to get all your files back after a crisis, which could motivate staff and sustain the business. But understanding people and politics is essential, too."

Rosemont suggests that doing business continuity planning in "normal times" is a chance for employers to source support systems. Employees can use these resources daily and during a crisis. Examples of resources include the following:

  • An excellent healthcare benefits program
  • An employee assistance program (EAP) that provides discounted legal or other advice
  • Mental health and medical resources, such as access to doctors or counselors
  • Daycare facilities or resources for both children and adults (such as elderly parents)
  • Financial planning tools or advisors
  • Sources of financial assistance
  • Apps for meditation and calming anxiety

Mike Semel

A further consideration, especially in natural disasters, is that it may be easier to restore the business than to gather your workforce. “It's easier to recover technology than it is to have the people there to use it,” explains Mike Semel, President and Chief Compliance Officer at Semel Consulting . “With the cloud and online backups, you can just go to somebody else's computer and log into Microsoft and get to your email. Your bigger problem will be people, and you need to focus on making sure your people don't disappear on you.” 

In disasters, people may leave town. If you can keep people safe, but local, you may be able to recover your business faster. As an example, he shares how his company guided a credit union to contract with a local hotel chain. The executives would move their families to safety and only then return to work. This same consideration applies to small businesses. “If you're a doctor's office, you know that the doctor needs to be there,” says Semel. “The receptionist needs to be there. The nurse needs to be there.”

How Business Continuity Helps

Business continuity business case template.

Business Continuity Business Case Template

Top leadership might wonder why they should invest time and money in business continuity planning. Use this free downloadable business case template to build a convincing argument for business continuity. These customizable slides include suggested argument points that you can adapt to fit your company’s needs. 

Download Business Continuity Business Case Template — PowerPoint

For most useful free, downloadable business continuity plan (BCP) templates please read our  "Free Business Continuity Plan Templates"  article.

​​​​​​​Benefits of Having a Business Continuity Plan

The benefit of a business continuity plan is that it prepares a company for a crisis. Trained staff will know what to do and the organization will be able to safely continue delivering key products and services, while meeting its legal and other commitments.

The following are additional advantages of business continuity:

  • Review Weaknesses and Risks: Planning for business continuity provides valuable data and insights that have worth beyond emergency preparedness. Business continuity planning means leadership can assess skills, resources, strategies, and personalities, and uncover inefficiencies. Such findings often result from a business impact analysis. To learn more, read “ All about Business Impact Analysis: A Step-by-Step How-To .”  
  • Understand Your Business Processes: Business continuity planning demands that you put your entire organization under a microscope. As a result, you can find and remedy inefficiencies in everyday operations, which will make your company more resilient.
  • Improve Processes: Ideally, your plan will cover all aspects of the company and can reveal new challenges and opportunities. Improving processes at all levels pays for the investment.
  • Help Companies Pivot Quickly: Planning helps you quickly recover critical IT systems and other processes after an incident.
  • Build Confidence among Customers: With your BCP, customers know they can rely on continued access to your products or services. For example, when experiencing the aftermath of a natural disaster or a pandemic, B2C customers may find comfort in such things as a favorite food that you may provide. Your parts and services may help B2B customers pursue their livelihoods in the face of uncertainty. 
  • Build Confidence among Employees: A plan and adequate training shows staff what to do when a crisis occurs. They also have some reassurance that their jobs will continue during and after a disruption.
  • Mitigate Financial Risk: A 2019 ITIC survey indicates that an hour of downtime can cost anywhere between $1 million and $5 million for large enterprises. Smaller businesses (those with 200 to 500 employees) responded that halting processes for one hour can cost at least $100,000. Can your company afford such losses? Plans reduce losses.
  • Keep Your Team Members Safe: Creating and training staff on an accident response and evacuation plan can keep your team safe during accidents and disasters.
  • Define Responsibility: When management and the chain of command grow ad hoc, they can fail in a crisis. A strong business continuity system names and trains crisis response leaders, and also provides roles for the rest of the team. "People need to be empowered to actually take action, and not sit there and wait for the CEO to make a decision," insists Fullick.
  • Streamline Technology: As part of the process, you will review processes and the digital platforms and infrastructure that the company has pieced together over time. You may find that it’s practical to integrate technology, and one platform may effectively complete the tasks of several disparate apps. 
  • Allocate Key Financial and Human Resources: Understanding your company’s critical functions means you can focus financial and human resources on those processes, so you can keep the business running during a severe disruption.
  • Provide a Way to Continue Working: Planning helps ensure that remote workers have access to the files, applications, and digital resources they need. This step reduces or eliminates downtime, so you can still provide products and services to customers.
  • Eliminate Potential Costs: When a business is offline or closed, it inevitably loses revenue. However, slipped supply deadlines can result in additional fees from vendors or, depending on the locale and industry, fines for regulatory non-compliance.
  • Make Coping in a Crisis Easier: In an emergency, people are often distracted thinking about their safety, as well as that of their friends and family. Training and a plan to fall back on helps people focus.

What Is Business Continuity Management (BCM)?

Business continuity management is the process a company uses to identify risks and, from there, to avoid or reduce the impact of those risks. Ultimately, this makes a company more resilient in a crisis.  

Disruptive events can impact information systems, business processes, or both. For example, a hurricane or an earthquake can cut electricity. Without power to run data centers or laptops, business processes such as supply replenishment and payroll are impossible. 

As StoneRoad’s Fullick explains, "Business continuity management is a set of plans and procedures to help you prepare for, respond to, and recover from business interruptions. Beyond that, it empowers people to make decisions when things occur. It's about knowing what resources and skills are available when something happens, whether it’s a small incident or a global pandemic." 

With BCM, companies review their needs and capabilities to create contingency plans. From there, they can deliver at least some of their regular output, or the minimum acceptable service, in the event of a crisis. Continuity of service preserves a corporation’s reputation and revenue.

Benefits of Business Continuity Management System (BCMS)

A BCMS keeps staff safe and protects assets from risk. With human, IT, and other resources, a company can continue to provide goods and services. As a result, the company will continue to create revenue and retain a solid reputation.

You can learn about the types of risks and threats to organizations, as well as regulatory requirements for business continuity planning in our article, “ Business Continuity Planning: How to Do It Well .”

"I don't think as many business people consider business continuity like they should,” says Bombacino. “I feel more prepared here, at my company, than I did when I worked at big companies. I think that’s because when big companies get really big or successful, or have lots of money, they think nothing bad can happen to them. One boss used to say there's a difference between being successful because of something and being successful in spite of something. Many companies are successful and don't have a business continuity plan. But what one thing could happen and wipe them out because they're not ready?”

Fullick adds that the value of business continuity will become increasingly clear to companies in the near future. “I think business continuity will grow as a key component for a lot of organizations, and [that] leadership on all levels is going to focus on BCP now.”

Disadvantages of Business Continuity Plans

Business continuity plans are costly and time-consuming to execute. Plans often require outside advice, and poorly written plans (or those that leadership doesn’t support) can be unsafe and cause financial losses. 

A plan also risks becoming a ticked box on a requirements list, rather than an actionable, practical document. Management can forget to share the plan with the teams who could benefit from it. "Often when people aren't a part of discussions, the crisis management team is activated, but everyone else, including leadership, is sitting around and thinking, ‘What's going on?’” explains Fullick. “Management and employees are each waiting for the other to act. But people should know what to do and just start doing it."

 Plan writers also often worry too much about specific disaster scenarios. "You need to focus on people, places, and things, and not so much on the trigger," Fullick urges. "You could lose your building because of a pandemic, or a flood, a fire, or an earthquake. Those are all different triggers for the same problem: What do we do now that our building is gone? Continuity planning should be about building a skillset, so your employees and leadership — beyond the disaster recovery team — know exactly what to do, and what the resources are, no matter what is happening." 

In essence, business continuity planning empowers people and adds value to the company. Real Food Blends’ Bombacino says, “Some entrepreneurs hate meetings and process and structure. They don't want to talk about business continuity planning. But for us, this is our life's work. Other families, our customers, depend on us. So we view business continuity planning not as just a smart thing to do, but as our responsibility to make sure that we avoid the continuity pitfalls out there."

Improve Business Continuity with Real-Time Work Management in Smartsheet

Empower your people to go above and beyond with a flexible platform designed to match the needs of your team — and adapt as those needs change. 

The Smartsheet platform makes it easy to plan, capture, manage, and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done. Report on key metrics and get real-time visibility into work as it happens with roll-up reports, dashboards, and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed. 

When teams have clarity into the work getting done, there’s no telling how much more they can accomplish in the same amount of time.  Try Smartsheet for free, today.

Discover why over 90% of Fortune 100 companies trust Smartsheet to get work done.

  • Search Search Please fill out this field.

What Is a Business Continuity Plan (BCP), and How Does It Work?

benefits of business continuity planning

Investopedia / Ryan Oakley

What Is a Business Continuity Plan (BCP)? 

A business continuity plan (BCP) is a system of prevention and recovery from potential threats to a company. The plan ensures that personnel and assets are protected and are able to function quickly in the event of a disaster.

Key Takeaways

  • Business continuity plans (BCPs) are prevention and recovery systems for potential threats, such as natural disasters or cyber-attacks.
  • BCP is designed to protect personnel and assets and make sure they can function quickly when disaster strikes.
  • BCPs should be tested to ensure there are no weaknesses, which can be identified and corrected.

Understanding Business Continuity Plans (BCPs)

BCP involves defining any and all risks that can affect the company's operations, making it an important part of the organization's risk management strategy. Risks may include natural disasters—fire, flood, or weather-related events—and cyber-attacks . Once the risks are identified, the plan should also include:

  • Determining how those risks will affect operations
  • Implementing safeguards and procedures to mitigate the risks
  • Testing procedures to ensure they work
  • Reviewing the process to make sure that it is up to date

BCPs are an important part of any business. Threats and disruptions mean a loss of revenue and higher costs, which leads to a drop in profitability. And businesses can't rely on insurance alone because it doesn't cover all the costs and the customers who move to the competition. It is generally conceived in advance and involves input from key stakeholders and personnel.

Business impact analysis, recovery, organization, and training are all steps corporations need to follow when creating a Business Continuity Plan.

Benefits of a Business Continuity Plan

Businesses are prone to a host of disasters that vary in degree from minor to catastrophic. Business continuity planning is typically meant to help a company continue operating in the event of major disasters such as fires. BCPs are different from a disaster recovery plan, which focuses on the recovery of a company's information technology system after a crisis.

Consider a finance company based in a major city. It may put a BCP in place by taking steps including backing up its computer and client files offsite. If something were to happen to the company's corporate office, its satellite offices would still have access to important information.

An important point to note is that BCP may not be as effective if a large portion of the population is affected, as in the case of a disease outbreak. Nonetheless, BCPs can improve risk management—preventing disruptions from spreading. They can also help mitigate downtime of networks or technology, saving the company money.

How To Create a Business Continuity Plan

There are several steps many companies must follow to develop a solid BCP. They include:

  • Business Impact Analysis : Here, the business will identify functions and related resources that are time-sensitive. (More on this below.)
  • Recovery : In this portion, the business must identify and implement steps to recover critical business functions.
  • Organization : A continuity team must be created. This team will devise a plan to manage the disruption.
  • Training : The continuity team must be trained and tested. Members of the team should also complete exercises that go over the plan and strategies.

Companies may also find it useful to come up with a checklist that includes key details such as emergency contact information, a list of resources the continuity team may need, where backup data and other required information are housed or stored, and other important personnel.

Along with testing the continuity team, the company should also test the BCP itself. It should be tested several times to ensure it can be applied to many different risk scenarios . This will help identify any weaknesses in the plan which can then be corrected.

In order for a business continuity plan to be successful, all employees—even those who aren't on the continuity team—must be aware of the plan.

Business Continuity Impact Analysis

An important part of developing a BCP is a business continuity impact analysis. It identifies the effects of disruption of business functions and processes. It also uses the information to make decisions about recovery priorities and strategies.

FEMA provides an operational and financial impact worksheet to help run a business continuity analysis. The worksheet should be completed by business function and process managers who are well acquainted with the business. These worksheets will summarize the following:

  • The impacts—both financial and operational—that stem from the loss of individual business functions and process
  • Identifying when the loss of a function or process would result in the identified business impacts

Completing the analysis can help companies identify and prioritize the processes that have the most impact on the business's financial and operational functions. The point at which they must be recovered is generally known as the “recovery time objective.”

Business Continuity Plan vs. Disaster Recovery Plan

BCPs and disaster recovery plans are similar in nature, the latter focuses on technology and information technology (IT) infrastructure. BCPs are more encompassing—focusing on the entire organization, such as customer service and supply chain. 

BCPs focus on reducing overall costs or losses, while disaster recovery plans look only at technology downtimes and related costs. Disaster recovery plans tend to involve only IT personnel—which create and manage the policy. However, BCPs tend to have more personnel trained on the potential processes. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is business continuity plan (bcp) important.

Businesses are prone to a host of disasters that vary in degree from minor to catastrophic and business continuity plans (BCPs) are an important part of any business. BCP is typically meant to help a company continue operating in the event of threats and disruptions. This could result in a loss of revenue and higher costs, which leads to a drop in profitability. And businesses can't rely on insurance alone because it doesn't cover all the costs and the customers who move to the competition.

What Should a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) Include?

Business continuity plans involve identifying any and all risks that can affect the company's operations. The plan should also determine how those risks will affect operations and implement safeguards and procedures to mitigate the risks. There should also be testing procedures to ensure these safeguards and procedures work. Finally, there should be a review process to make sure that the plan is up to date.

What Is Business Continuity Impact Analysis?

An important part of developing a BCP is a business continuity impact analysis which identifies the effects of disruption of business functions and processes. It also uses the information to make decisions about recovery priorities and strategies.

FEMA provides an operational and financial impact worksheet to help run a business continuity analysis.

These worksheets summarize the impacts—both financial and operational—that stem from the loss of individual business functions and processes. They also identify when the loss of a function or process would result in the identified business impacts.

The Bottom Line

Business continuity plans (BCPs) are created to help speed up the recovery of an organization filling a threat or disaster. The plan puts in place mechanisms and functions to allow personnel and assets to minimize company downtime. BCPs cover all organizational risks should a disaster happen, such as flood or fire.  

Federal Emergency Management Agency. " Business Process Analysis and Business Impact Analysis User Guide ." Pages 15 - 17.

Ready. “ IT Disaster Recovery Plan .”

Federal Emergency Management Agency. " Business Process Analysis and Business Impact Analysis User Guide ." Pages 15-17.

benefits of business continuity planning

  • Terms of Service
  • Editorial Policy
  • Privacy Policy
  • Your Privacy Choices
  • Accessibility Policy
  • Skip to content
  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
  • Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications
  • Download Java
  • Careers at Oracle


What Is Business Continuity? Everything You Need to Know

Michael Hickins | Content Strategist | May 16, 2024

benefits of business continuity planning

In This Article

What Is Business Continuity?

Business continuity explained, why is business continuity important to businesses, what does business continuity include, what is included in a business continuity plan (bcp), building a business continuity plan, testing a business continuity plan, business continuity standards, business continuity and disaster recovery, technology and business continuity, simplify your business continuity strategy with oracle cloud infrastructure, business continuity faqs.

Business continuity brings together people and technology to help organizations prepare for and overcome interruptions to normal business operations. Business continuity planning encompasses disaster recovery—the restoration of IT services following an unexpected outage—but its purpose is broader. The goal of a business continuity strategy is to keep the business up and running regardless of whether operations are impacted by an unplanned catastrophe, such as an earthquake, or a planned event, such as applying a major infrastructure patch.

Business leaders use business continuity as a paradigm for maintaining operations, even if in a temporarily limited capacity, in the event of unexpected or planned disruptions to normal business processes. These disruptions can include natural disasters, cyberattacks, armed conflict or other force majeure, global pandemics, power outages due to storms or flooding, infrastructure failures, planned maintenance activities, and even the unexpected departure of a key employee. Cloud computing technologies such as containerization and virtualization can help make business continuity measures more affordable for companies of all sizes.

Key Takeaways

  • Business continuity involves developing processes ahead of time to maintain availability during unexpected or planned disruptions to normal operations.
  • Business continuity planning is a methodology for ensuring that a business has the processes in place to maintain critical functions.
  • Business continuity planning involves assembling a team, assessing risks, identifying priority operations, and ensuring that a disaster recovery plan is in place that can bring critical IT infrastructure and data back online in a timely manner.
  • Business continuity isn’t a one-and-done proposition. The plan has to be practiced and tested regularly so people are familiar with their responsibilities and gaps in the plan can be identified and closed.
  • A new generation of cloud computing, containerization in particular, has made business continuity and disaster recovery more efficient and cost-effective than even 10 years ago.

Businesses typically adopt strategies to thwart existential threats such as established competitors, market entrants, sudden changes in customer behavior or tastes, and technological change.

However, another threat that’s more difficult to plan for is an unexpected, usually temporary event that makes it difficult or impossible for the business to continue operating as usual. Natural events such as hurricanes and prolonged heat waves can result in a loss of the electric power used to run facilities or critical IT services. Criminal entities or nation-states can interrupt IT operations or hold data for ransom. Other types of events, such as the unexpected death or departure of key personnel, supply chain disruptions due to war or labor strikes, and consumer boycotts, are equally difficult to plan for.

Successful companies therefore develop business continuity plans to provide a template for how managers and other employees should react should such extraordinary events occur.

On the flip side, companies that don’t have business continuity plans face significant peril. Even accounting for variables such as the industry, company size, and business type, downtime of an organization’s online presence alone can cost it between US$2,300 and US$9,000 per minute—and that doesn’t account for the cost of damage to its reputation and business relationships.

Most businesses can withstand slowing or halting their business activities for a short period of time, although banks, utilities, healthcare providers, and companies in some other industries aren’t afforded this luxury and must follow statutory requirements and ensure they can resume normal operations almost immediately following a disruption.

In most cases, irrespective of regulatory requirements, businesses can ill afford a prolonged disruption to their activities because even the most patient customers will eventually find alternative vendors. In fact, an extended downtime event at a competitor can present an opportunity for others in the sector to gain market share.

When planning for business continuity, organizations should also consider partners, vendors, and sensitive supply chains, where outages could have irreparable cascading downstream effects.

In its simplest terms, business continuity is the idea that an organization will continue operations in spite of disasters, events, nefarious acts, or other calamities that temporarily interrupt the ordinary course of business. It includes the following:

  • Assessing functions such as production, customer service, sales, and marketing and ranking them by order of priority. In an emergency, your organization may not be able to get all its functions up and running immediately, so knowing which ones are most critical to its success is crucial to surviving the first minutes, hours, and days.
  • Assessing key suppliers and service providers for their adaptability and flexibility. Ensure that they have their own business continuity plans, and in the case of IT providers, that they have redundancy, data replication, and other disaster recovery processes in place to ensure your business won’t suffer from disruptions to their operations.
  • Ensuring that the business complies with relevant local, national, and international standards; this is most important in the finance, healthcare, and utility sectors.

At its most basic, a business continuity plan (BCP) is the simple acknowledgement by leadership that unforeseen disruptive events, often outside the organization’s control, will inevitably occur and that they should take steps to ensure the company will be able to continue doing business, even if in a limited capacity for a short period of time.

A BCP must include the disaster recovery (DR) plan, which, as its name suggests, is a framework for recovering systems and, most importantly, data after an unexpected outage. Events that can cause such an outage include hurricanes or tornadoes that knock out power or make travel to corporate offices impossible, armed conflicts that disrupt supply chains, cyberattacks that render systems inoperable, and global pandemics that force people to work from home. But the most common cause of disaster is human error, such as an employee unwittingly falling for a phishing scam or a database administrator who doesn’t get around to applying a software patch until after the system is compromised.

And while it’s true that future events are impossible to predict, failing to prepare for them would be foolhardy—and against laws and regulations governing many industries. As Dwight D. Eisenhower, the former US president and supreme allied commander in Europe during World War II, noted: “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.”

In other words, unexpected events can make the details of many plans irrelevant or anachronistic, but the very process of planning helps ready an organization for whatever may come next. Eisenhower also said of planning: “If you haven’t been planning you can’t start to work, intelligently at least.”

Still, DR is integral to but not the only key component of an effective BCP. A comprehensive BCP should include the following elements:

  • Business impact analysis. Determine which functions and processes are critical to the organization’s survival, and understand the impact if they were to be disrupted. This analysis should be continuous, but it’s especially important when the business expands into new product markets or geographic areas and when it adds core technologies such as a new data center or new cloud infrastructure. For example, a business with key operations in areas hit frequently by tropical storms should consider building or leasing facilities in areas outside a typical storm’s path.
  • Communications plan. Establish clear communication channels for internal and external stakeholders to provide timely and accurate information during a crisis.
  • Employee well-being and safety. Plan for remote work capabilities, and prioritize the health and safety of employees and their families over other considerations.
  • Risk assessment and management. Assess how key customers, suppliers, or other partners on which the business depends might react to sudden business disruptions, how supply chains might be affected, which legal issues might arise, and what exposure the organization has to natural disasters and other disruptions.
  • Supply chain resilience. Develop strategies to manage supply chain risk, including diversifying suppliers and sourcing options wherever possible. Consider a scenario where the business has to relocate to one or more secondary locations.
  • Training and awareness. Regularly train employees on their roles in the event of a disaster or other major business disruption so they’re comfortable with the procedures and protocols they should follow.

Business continuity planning is essential to the survival of an organization in the event of a natural disaster or other disruption to the normal course of business. Indeed, about 25% of businesses don’t reopen after disasters, according to the US Federal Emergency Management Agency . Businesses should take the following steps to build an effective BCP:

  • Identify a business continuity manager (BCM) and make it clear that the BCM has the full support of senior leaders. At large companies, the BCM often reports to the chief financial officer.
  • The BCM should assemble a team representing key business functions, such as manufacturing, sales, customer service, IT, operations, human resources, and marketing.
  • This team then works to identify areas of the business that are critical to ongoing operations, such as IT, telecommunications infrastructure, building management, vendor management, and payroll, as well as customers that generate significant amounts of revenue. Typically, businesses peg their continuity plans to two metrics: a recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO). The RTO is the maximum length of time it should take to bring critical IT systems back online. The RPO is how much data the business can afford to lose before it’s harmed beyond the determined acceptable limits.
  • Create a list of key stakeholders, including their full contact information and areas of responsibility. The BCM should ensure that physical copies of the list are easily accessible in a number of specified locations. In other words, don’t assume digital versions of the list, or anything else, will be available during a disruption.
  • Determine which business areas have priority in the event of a disruption and whether current deployments allow for recovery within the stated RTO time frame. Does a business unit or line-of-business team require a simple backup, data replication to a secondary site, or real-time data protection and recovery? For example, if it’s determined that the business can’t tolerate the loss of an ecommerce site for more than an hour but the current deployment of that site would require a recovery time of four hours, IT may need to re-architect the site or find a new provider. Additionally, acknowledge which risks the business is willing to accept because hedging them would be too expensive, and offset them in some other way, such as by purchasing an insurance policy.
  • Create communications plans for the business as a whole and for each functional area. Make sure key stakeholders are aware of these plans and can access them in the event of a disruption.
  • Identify locations, including home offices, that could be used as temporary worksites if the main offices are inaccessible for long periods of time. Plan to make critical data and applications available as quickly as possible in those locations.
  • Vet key suppliers and service providers to ensure they have their own BCPs in place that protect your business should they encounter a significant disruption.
  • Practice the plan by walking all stakeholders through the steps that must be taken in the event of a disruption. Set up a schedule to test these plans at least once a year to identify and control for changes among suppliers, personnel, or facilities.

Finally, experts advise making recovery operations as automated as possible, allowing stakeholders and workers to focus on the overall business continuity plan. One example is using failover systems that automatically switch to backup servers or networks if the primary ones fail. Automation increases the chances of a positive, predictable outcome.

Business continuity plans are only as good as the habits of the people who use them. While predicting an actual disaster is near impossible, it’s entirely possible to simulate a disruptive event so staff can practice the actions they’ll likely have to perform. Before any testing can occur, stakeholders need to have seen and assimilated the BCP.

Tests should evaluate key elements of the plan, including reaction times to power outages and IT failures, the viability of both internal and external communications systems, and alert and activation procedures for key personnel.

Testing not only familiarizes people with their responsibilities in the event of a disruption, but it also helps identify plan gaps or flaws so they can be addressed before an actual emergency.

Best practices for this type of testing include the following:

  • Tabletop testing. This involves bringing key stakeholders into a physical or virtual conference room, describing a disruptive event, and then asking each of them to list the actions they would take in accordance with the BCP they will have already read.
  • Walk-through testing. Also known as a mock recovery test, this is a more comprehensive version of the tabletop exercise. In this test, employees physically walk through the steps they would take in the event of a disruption. For example, facilities management staff would demonstrate how they would ensure that backup generators were functioning, and someone in IT would use the contact information document to get in touch with your data center or cloud service provider.
  • Third-party testing services. Outside vendors test how prepared your organization’s staff and key stakeholders are to react to simulated disruptions, including ransomware demands and other nefarious acts. Firms that specialize in cybersecurity can test employees to help ensure they don’t fall for phishing or other psychological tricks that can result in breaches to IT systems.

BCMs should conduct tests at least annually and establish a format for stakeholders to share and review the results.

Business continuity plans in certain industries—notably financial services, utilities, and healthcare—are subject to local, national, and/or international standards. In fact, more than 120 business continuity management regulations apply to a variety of industries, according to DRI International , a nonprofit disaster recovery consultancy. These include Security and Exchange Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and Sarbanes-Oxley regulations in the United States as well as the BASEL III international regulatory framework for banks and the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 22301.

Other business continuity standards include the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s SP 800-34 and 24762 and the US National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 1600 standard for continuity, emergency, and crisis management. More general business continuity regulations include the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which, because it governs the storage and dissemination of data, is also relevant to business continuity.

Business continuity and disaster recovery are closely related. Both are organizational plans for surviving and quickly recovering from a potentially catastrophic business disruption, and both are also closely linked to IT, given businesses’ reliance on IT infrastructure and applications.

To cite just one example of how dependent all businesses have become on IT, most professional sports venues in the United States no longer accept cash payments, meaning that computerized point-of-sale systems need to be operational for them to sell food, beverages, gear, and other goods.

Business Continuity vs. Disaster Recovery

ISO 22301 defines business continuity as “documented procedures that guide organizations to respond, recover, resume, and restore to a pre-defined level of operations following disruption.” Disaster recovery is a subset of business continuity that involves restoring IT services, incrementally if necessary. A key way that business continuity differs from DR is that business continuity accounts for all business interruptions, including those that are planned.

Business continuity is contingent on a wide variety of factors, including the industry in which an organization operates and the nature of the disruption itself. But in the Information Age, almost all business continuity depends on some level of IT functionality. It’s therefore crucial for companies to make certain that they have appropriate levels of redundant infrastructure and data replication in place, not just to support the ordinary course of business but also to ensure the business can operate efficiently enough during a disruptive event.

The shorter the RTOs and RPOs, the better for continuity. However, the cost of achieving any RTO or RPO goes up as each objective becomes shorter. Architectural choices can help. Business leaders should consider using cloud computing and, optimally, containers to further isolate critical data from systems that have been disrupted. They should also look for cloud service providers with geographically disparate failover facilities.

One of the advantages of cloud computing from a business continuity perspective is what’s called “pilot light deployments,” where secondary sites or copies of corporate workloads can be as small as a single virtual machine (VM) or container. In the case of a failover, that single VM or container can, if needed, kick off an automated process that lets your organization spin up the rest of the infrastructure. And by using a pilot light deployment, organizations need only pay for that single resource rather than replicating an entire system.

Another strategy is the so-called “blue-green” architecture, where instead of having four to six redundant environments for development and testing and a separate one for production deployment, an organization deploys only two redundant, distributed environments. Let’s say the “blue” environment is production and the “green” is development and testing. When development is completed, the “green” environment becomes the primary production environment, and the “blue” environment is used for development, testing, and disaster recovery. This cycle then repeats itself.

Oracle makes it simpler and more affordable to develop a holistic business continuity plan. Because Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) was developed later than other hyperscale clouds, it was built for better efficiency and reliability, lower latency, and superior flexibility compared with competing clouds. In addition to containers, OCI has flexible virtual machines, which means businesses can buy only as much compute power as they need. Other providers offer less flexibility, requiring customers to overprovision their instances, costing them more money. OCI has multiple geographically separated cloud regions in many countries, enabling customers to remain compliant with data sovereignty regulations while still having disparate locations for the purposes of business continuity.

Based on decades of development experience and real-world customer feedback, Oracle has developed best practices called Oracle Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) . Oracle MAA provides the blueprint for implementing high availability, scalability, disaster recovery, and data protection solutions in Oracle Database environments.

The Oracle MAA best practices, maintained by a team of Oracle developers, continually validate the integrated use of Oracle Database High Availability features such as Oracle Real Application Clusters and Oracle Data Guard using chaos engineering techniques and other testing methodologies.

Oracle MAA is further extended with the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Full Stack Disaster Recovery service. OCI Full Stack Disaster Recovery orchestrates the transition of compute, databases, and applications between OCI regions from around the globe with a single click. Customers can automate the steps needed to recover one or more business systems without redesigning or re-architecting existing infrastructure, databases, or applications and without needing specialized management or conversion servers.

Moreover, Oracle Autonomous Database and Oracle Exadata Database Service have redundancy built in, which means customers don’t pay extra for data replication within the same availability zone.

The expectations for business continuity have changed as the technology landscape has evolved. For example, most businesses used to think about RTOs in terms of so-called tier 1 applications, but less expensive cloud computing options, such as pilot lights, mean that organizations can afford to create business continuity plans for all their applications.

benefits of business continuity planning

Cloud is key to a successful—and affordable—business continuity strategy. Learn why.

What are the 4 pillars of business continuity?

At its most basic, business continuity consists of assembling a team focused on business continuity, assessing which areas of the business are most at risk during a disruptive event, creating a plan for maintaining operations at minimally viable levels, and then rehearsing and testing that plan on a regular basis.

What’s the difference between business continuity and disaster recovery?

Business continuity is an organizational approach to ensuring that an organization can continue operating in some capacity through any disruption, planned or not, while disaster recovery focuses on bringing IT systems back up.

Why is having a BCP important?

Organizations that don’t have updated business continuity plans are at greater risk than those that do. At worst, they may permanently go out of business due to a significant unexpected disruption to normal operations that drives customers to competitors, loses data, and proves expensive to fix.

Business Continuity Planning: Ensuring the Resilience of Your Organization

Let’s explore the intricacies of business continuity planning, from understanding its importance to implementing a robust strategy that safeguards your enterprise.

Published by Orgvue   November 20, 2023

Home > Resources > article > Business Continuity Planning: Ensuring the Resilience of Your Organization

In an unpredictable world, the ability to sustain your business’s essential functions and operations, even in the face of disruptions, is paramount.

benefits of business continuity planning

Business continuity planning is the framework that ensures your organization can weather storms, both literal and metaphorical.

What is Business Continuity Planning?

At its core, business continuity planning is the process of developing a proactive strategy to ensure an organization’s critical functions and operations can continue in the face of unforeseen disruptions.

It encompasses a range of activities, from risk assessment to the creation of detailed recovery plans, with the ultimate goal of minimizing downtime and ensuring the organization’s resilience.

The Importance of Business Continuity Planning

The importance of being prepared for various external and internal factors cannot be overstated. While many businesses have a standard business plan, not all of them consider the potential disruptions caused by natural calamities, economic downturns, or other unexpected events. Business continuity planning is the key to ensuring a company’s sustained operation, regardless of the challenges it may face.

Business continuity planning goes beyond the traditional business plan. While a business plan outlines goals and strategies for growth, a continuity plan focuses on how the organization will continue to function in the face of adversity. It involves identifying potential risks and developing strategies to mitigate and recover from them. Whether it’s a natural disaster, a cyberattack or an economic recession, having a well-thought-out strategic plan is essential for business survival.

One of the most significant threats to businesses is an economic downturn, such as a recession. During these challenging times, consumer spending often decreases, and businesses may face financial instability. A recession can have a ripple effect on companies of all sizes, causing decreased revenue, layoffs, and even closures.

For a detailed look at the impact of recessions on businesses, read how to prepare for a recession , which delves into strategies for navigating these challenging economic conditions.

Business strategy planning is not just about surviving during tough times; it’s also crucial for capitalizing on periods of growth. When businesses experience an upturn, they often need to scale rapidly to meet increased demand. Having a continuity plan in place allows for a smoother transition during periods of growth, ensuring that the infrastructure, resources and workforce can adapt effectively.

The financial consequences of not having a business continuity plan can be devastating. Without a plan in place, businesses are more vulnerable to unexpected disruptions, which can result in significant financial losses. These losses may come from increased downtime, lost revenue, legal liabilities, reputational damage and the costs associated with recovery efforts.

Considerations for Business Continuity Planning

Creating a robust business continuity plan is a complex task that involves a multitude of factors. Among these considerations, three key aspects stand out: cultural differences, limited resources and alignment with business objectives. A successful business strategy plan takes these factors into account to ensure that an organization can effectively respond to disruptions while maintaining its core values and strategic direction.

1. Cultural Differences

Cultural diversity is a significant consideration in business strategy planning, especially for multinational companies or organizations with a diverse workforce. Cultural differences can influence how employees perceive and respond to crises. When developing a business continuity plan, it is important to consider the following aspects:

  • Communication Styles : Different cultures have varying communication norms and hierarchies. Understanding how employees from various cultural backgrounds communicate during a crisis can help in crafting effective crisis communication strategies.
  • Decision-Making Processes : Some cultures prioritize consensus-driven decision-making, while others lean towards hierarchical authority. A business continuity plan should acknowledge these differences and provide flexibility in decision-making approaches during disruptions.
  • Crisis Response Expectations : Cultural expectations can shape how employees expect the organization to respond to a crisis. Your business strategy plan should be sensitive to these expectations and ensure that response strategies align with cultural norms.

2. Limited Resources

For many businesses, resource constraints are a reality. When developing a business continuity plan, it’s crucial to consider the organization’s resource limitations, such as budget, personnel and technology. Here are some key considerations:

  • Resource Allocation : Prioritize critical functions and allocate resources accordingly. Not all business processes are equally important, and a business continuity plan should identify and protect the most essential ones first.
  • Efficiency and Scalability : Develop strategies that focus on efficiency and scalability. Efficient resource use is critical, and a business strategy plan should outline how to adapt to changing resource constraints during a crisis.
  • Collaboration : Collaboration with external partners, such as suppliers, can be a resource-saving strategy. Establishing relationships with partners who can provide support during disruptions is a valuable aspect.

3. Business Objectives

A business continuity plan should align with the broader business objectives to ensure that it doesn’t hinder growth or innovation. Consider the following aspects:

  • Market Expansion:  If the organization’s objective is to expand into new markets, the business strategy plan should accommodate this goal. It should address the challenges and opportunities that come with market expansion, including regulatory compliance and logistical considerations.
  • Relocation or Migration : If there are plans to relocate or migrate operations, the business continuity plan should include strategies for a seamless transition. This may involve considerations such as data migration, employee relocation and continuity of customer service.
  • Competitive Landscape : Changes in the competitive landscape, such as the emergence of new competitors, can impact the organization’s continuity. The business strategy plan should be flexible enough to adapt to shifts in the competitive environment.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic forced companies to adapt rapidly, with remote work becoming the norm for many, reshaping entire industries like healthcare and e-commerce.
  • The global recession of 2008 had long-lasting effects on financial institutions and prompted regulatory changes that influenced business operations.
  • The rise of the internet transformed countless businesses, from retail to media, and required adaptation to online platforms.
  • Looking ahead, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence have the potential to disrupt industries in unprecedented ways, with automation and data-driven decision-making reshaping the future of work. These events emphasize the critical importance of adaptable and comprehensive business continuity planning to navigate the unpredictable landscape of our ever-evolving world.

Developing a Strategic Business Plan

A well structured business plan serves as a roadmap for your organization, guiding actions and decisions while enabling effective response to a dynamic business environment.

  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current state of the business.
  • Review financial statements, market positioning and operational performance.
  • Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
  • Evaluate the company’s internal resources and capabilities.
  • Analyze micro-environment factors such as competitors, customers, suppliers and regulatory changes.
  • Examine macro-environment factors like economic trends, technological advancements and political factors.
  • Use tools like PESTEL analysis and Porter’s Five Forces to assess the external business environment.
  • Clearly define short-term and long-term business objectives.
  • Make objectives specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART).
  • Align objectives with the company’s mission and vision.
  • Identify key operational processes that drive business success.
  • Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of these processes.
  • Prioritize improvements in critical areas to align with strategic objectives.
  • Plan for potential risks and uncertainties that could impact the business.
  • Create contingency and crisis management strategies.
  • Establish a risk management framework to mitigate and respond to unforeseen events.
  • Implement key performance indicators (KPIs) to track progress.
  • Regularly review and revise the business plan based on changing market conditions.
  • Adapt to emerging opportunities and challenges.
  • Ensure that the strategic plan is communicated effectively throughout the organization.
  • Secure buy-in and commitment from employees at all levels.
  • Ensure that all team members understand their roles in achieving the plan’s objectives.
  • Allocate resources, including finances and manpower, in alignment with the strategic priorities.
  • Develop a budget that reflects the financial requirements of the plan.
  • Monitor spending and adjust budgets as needed.
  • Develop a timeline and action plan for the execution of the strategic initiatives.
  • Assign responsibilities to specific teams or individuals.
  • Regularly review progress and make adjustments to stay on track.
  • Periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the strategic plan.
  • Solicit feedback from employees, customers and stakeholders.
  • Use feedback to make continuous improvements and refine the plan.
  • Establish a system for measuring and reporting progress.
  • Create dashboards or reports to communicate key metrics to stakeholders.
  • Ensure that performance data aligns with the defined objectives.
  • Incorporate sustainability and responsible growth practices into the plan.
  • Address social and environmental impacts as part of corporate responsibility.
  • Seek opportunities for sustainable growth and innovation.
  • Develop scenarios that explore alternative future situations.
  • Consider various outcomes and their implications on the business.
  • Prepare for different scenarios to enhance adaptability.
  • Leverage technology for data analytics, automation, and efficiency.
  • Stay updated on emerging technologies that can support the strategic plan.
  • Integrate technology solutions to enhance business processes.

Implementing a Business Continuity Plan

benefits of business continuity planning

 Importance of Training and Awareness:

  • Awareness:  Create awareness about the business continuity plan across the organization to foster a culture of preparedness. This includes educating employees on the potential risks and the importance of the plan.

 Consistent Review of the Plan:

  • Conduct post-incident reviews to assess the BCP’s performance after a real event and make necessary adjustments.

 Address Cultural and Technological Issues:

  • Technological Challenges: Recognize and mitigate technological hurdles that can hinder the plan’s execution, such as infrastructure limitations or cybersecurity threats. Ensure that IT systems are resilient and can support the plan.

 Software Integration:

  • Organizational design software like Orgvue can assist in visualizing and optimizing the organizational structure, enabling efficient allocation of resources and responsibilities during a disruption.

Business continuity planning is not merely a precaution but a strategic imperative for any organization. It provides a structured approach to safeguarding business operations in the face of unforeseen disruptions, thereby minimizing downtime and potential financial losses.

By fostering a culture of preparedness, training employees, regularly reviewing and adapting the plan, addressing cultural and technological issues, and leveraging software solutions like Orgvue for organizational design, businesses can ensure their resilience and adaptability in an ever-changing landscape.

For businesses with specific 1-5 year plans, the integration of business strategy planning is paramount. It aligns seamlessly with forward-looking strategies by fortifying the organization’s ability to execute those plans in the face of unexpected events.

By weaving business continuity considerations into your strategic framework, you not only protect your investments but also demonstrate your commitment to long-term success, customer trust and stakeholder confidence. The benefits of such foresight extend far beyond mitigating risk; they empower your business to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable world. Therefore, it is recommended that businesses of all sizes prioritize and integrate business continuity planning as an integral part of their strategic vision and ongoing operations.

Business Continuity Plan FAQs

● where does business continuity planning belong in an organization.

Depending on the organization’s culture, the department your business continuity plan falls under varies. IT is usually one of the most vital components of any business strategy plan, in which case it could belong under the IT department. Or, if financial impacts are your organization’s main concern, the finance department may need to run the plan.

● Who Is Responsible For the Business Continuity Plan?

The business continuity plan usually falls under the responsibility of a dedicated role or department, often led by a Business Continuity Manager, who reports to senior leadership. This individual or team is responsible for creating, implementing, and regularly updating the plan to ensure the organization’s resilience in the face of disruptions.

● Is Business Continuity Planning a Legal Requirement?

It is not always a legal requirement, but certain industries and jurisdictions may have regulations or standards that mandate organizations to have such plans in place to ensure operational resilience and preparedness for emergencies.

● What Role Can Business Continuity Planning Play In Recovering From an Incident?

It plays a crucial role in helping organizations recover from incidents by providing a structured framework to assess, respond to and mitigate the impact of disruptions, minimizing downtime and financial losses. It outlines clear procedures and responsibilities, ensuring that essential operations can resume swiftly and efficiently, thus safeguarding the organization’s reputation and maintaining stakeholder trust.

● When Should a Business Continuity Plan Be Activated?

A business continuity plan should be activated as a preventative measure in the event a disruptive incident occurs. Triggers may include natural disasters, cyberattacks, supply chain disruptions or any event that threatens the continuity of critical business functions.

Accelerate workforce transformation

Use Orgvue to streamline your organization.

What Is A Business Continuity Plan? [+ Template & Examples]

Swetha Amaresan

Published: December 30, 2022

When a business crisis occurs, the last thing you want to do is panic.

executives discussing business continuity plan

The second-to-last thing you want to do is be unprepared. Crises typically arise without warning. While you shouldn't start every day expecting the worst, you should be relatively prepared for anything to happen.

A business crisis can cost your company a lot of money and ruin your reputation if you don't have a business continuity plan in place. Customers aren't very forgiving, especially when a crisis is influenced by accidents within the company or other preventable mistakes. If you want your company to be able to maintain its business continuity in the face of a crisis, then you'll need to come up with this type of plan to uphold its essential functions.

Free Download: Crisis Management Plan & Communication Templates

In this post, we'll explain what a business continuity plan is, give examples of scenarios that would require a business continuity plan, and provide a template that you can use to create a well-rounded program for your business.

Table of Contents:

What is a business continuity plan?

  • Business Continuity Types
  • Business Continuity vs Disaster Recovery

Business Continuity Plan Template

How to write a business continuity plan.

  • Business Continuity Examples

A business continuity plan outlines directions and procedures that your company will follow when faced with a crisis. These plans include business procedures, names of assets and partners, human resource functions, and other helpful information that can help maintain your brand's relationships with relevant stakeholders. The goal of a business continuity plan is to handle anything from minor disruptions to full-blown threats.

For example, one crisis that your business may have to respond to is a severe snowstorm. Your team may be wondering, "If a snowstorm disrupted our supply chain, how would we resume business?" Planning contingencies ahead of time for situations like these can help your business stay afloat when you're faced with an unavoidable crisis.

When you think about business continuity in terms of the essential functions your business requires to operate, you can begin to mitigate and plan for specific risks within those functions.

benefits of business continuity planning

Crisis Communication and Management Kit

Manage, plan for, and communicate during your corporate crises with these crisis management plan templates.

  • Free Crisis Management Plan Template
  • 12 Crisis Communication Templates
  • Post-Crisis Performance Grading Template
  • Additional Crisis Best Management Practices

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Business Continuity Planning

Business continuity planning is the process of creating a plan to address a crisis. When writing out a business continuity plan, it's important to consider the variety of crises that could potentially affect the company and prepare a resolution for each.

Business Continuity Plan

Don't forget to share this post!

Related articles.

How to Navigate Customer Service During a Business Closure

How to Navigate Customer Service During a Business Closure

10 Crisis Communication Plan Examples (and How to Write Your Own)

10 Crisis Communication Plan Examples (and How to Write Your Own)

I Tried 7 Crisis Management Software to See if They’re Worth It (Results & Recommendations)

I Tried 7 Crisis Management Software to See if They’re Worth It (Results & Recommendations)

20 Crisis Management Quotes Every PR Team Should Live By

20 Crisis Management Quotes Every PR Team Should Live By

Social Media Crisis Management: Your Complete Guide [Free Template]

Social Media Crisis Management: Your Complete Guide [Free Template]

De-Escalation Techniques: 19 Best Ways to De-Escalate [Top Tips + Data]

De-Escalation Techniques: 19 Best Ways to De-Escalate [Top Tips + Data]

Situational Crisis Communication Theory and How It Helps a Business

Situational Crisis Communication Theory and How It Helps a Business

What Southwest’s Travel Disruption Taught Us About Customer Service

What Southwest’s Travel Disruption Taught Us About Customer Service

Showcasing Your Crisis Management Skills on Your Resume

Showcasing Your Crisis Management Skills on Your Resume

What Is Contingency Planning? [+ Examples]

What Is Contingency Planning? [+ Examples]

Manage, plan for, and communicate during a corporate crisis.

Service Hub provides everything you need to delight and retain customers while supporting the success of your whole front office

Kezia Farnham Image

Business continuity plan advantages and disadvantages for 2021

Someone assessing advantages and disadvantages of business continuity planning

Do businesses continuity plan advantages and disadvantages exist? The importance of having a business continuity plan cannot be under-estimated. Business continuity strategies ' sometimes referred to as disaster recovery plans ' are an essential element of organizations planning.

You might be surprised, then, to find an article considering not just the benefits of a business continuity plan, but also the disadvantages. Are there really disadvantages to business continuity planning? Here we look ahead to the things that might impact your continuity strategies in 2021 and to some of the business continuity plan advantages and disadvantages.

What Are the Advantages of Business Continuity Planning?

Unexpected events can catch an organization out at any time. Whether the event is a natural disaster or accident, deliberate disruption or attack, the impact on your business can be significant. If you have failed to plan for such an event, the impact is likely to be far more significant. The benefits of developing a business continuity plan are numerous. A BCP can help to:

  • Ensure your business can keep trading during and after an incident.
  • Restart operations swiftly following disruption.
  • Minimize the cost of tackling business interruption.
  • Shorten the period of disruption.
  • Reduce the risks and effect of risks on your business.
  • Assure your customers, stakeholders and employees that your organization is capable of weathering disruption.
  • Protect your corporate reputation.
  • Increase compliance with regulatory or legal obligations.
  • Improve insurance terms and costs.
  • Reduce risk and danger to your employees and customers.

2020 has shown, more than most years, the importance of having such a plan in place. COVID-19 has highlighted the need for well-thought-out business continuity strategies, with organizations that had prepared for the worst being best-placed to maintain business continuity through the pandemic . From a coronavirus perspective, indications are that things are likely to remain disrupted at least in the early part of 2021. For businesses looking to maximize operational capability, this reinforces the need for a robust business continuity plan. And of course, coronavirus is far from the only threat businesses will face in 2021. Weather-related events; terrorism; cyber-attacks; fires ' there is a long list of things with the potential to disrupt your business. Whatever the year may throw at us, organizations that have planned for the unexpected will be best able to manage potential disruption. Having a team in place to spring into action as soon as business interruption looks likely speeds your response, increases your ability to cope with a crisis, and minimizes the impact on your business.

What Should You Consider When Assessing Your BCP

  • Is your business continuity plan out of date? Your BCP shouldn't be static but needs to be revisited and updated regularly to take account of evolving threats. It also needs to keep pace with your changing business. Has your organization grown, organically or through M&A activity? If you have new subsidiaries since the plan was last reviewed, or have gone through an IPO that subjects you to additional regulatory or legislative requirements, your obligations will have changed.
  • Is your plan complete; does it cover all your entities and every risk you face? A comprehensive BCP demands a full 360-degree organizational vision. The mitigating actions you put in place need to reflect the entirety of your business ' data on your legal entities and subsidiaries is therefore an essential foundation to your plan. Without this, the BCP may have dangerous holes that threaten your ability to maintain operations.
  • Does it stand up to rigorous testing? Your plan should be tested regularly, either as part of a planned review or via surprise checks.

Are There Any Disadvantages To Having a Business Continuity Plan?

With business continuity plans delivering all the benefits set out above, it may seem counter-intuitive to consider that there may be disadvantages to developing a business continuity strategy. And maybe when we talk about disadvantages, 'limitations' may be a better term. Because while there are many advantages of business continuity planning, if plans are not prepared properly, they may give organizations a false sense of security. One thing that may be considered a disadvantage of business continuity planning is the spotlight it throws onto your contingency plans. If these are lacking ' if your back-up IT, power, communications or remote working plans are substandard ' the fact that a BCP brings this into sharp focus may be seen by some as a disadvantage of the process. In fact, painful as this may be, identifying shortcomings in your emergency plans is a vital step in putting in place the strategies you will need in the event of any crisis. The process of business continuity planning itself may also be considered a disadvantage; it can often be time-consuming, frustrating and seemingly never-ending, as plans evolve to meet the changing threats they must consider. Now that we have looked at the business continuity plan advantages and disadvantages, how can you ensure your company is prepared for crisis while mitigating business continuity planning limitations?

How To Overcome Business Continuity Challenges

Luckily, there are ways to make business continuity strategy planning pain-free. Many organizations have discovered the benefits of technology during the pandemic, in supporting their business processes and ensuring they could continue to operate. And it's not just the hardware itself that can help; the best technology providers are proving their worth as trusted partners, helping their clients to navigate the challenges of operating in unprecedented times. Cloud-based software allows businesses to maintain operations when their own locations are compromised. Highly-secure, off-site servers can host everything from compliance solutions to secure file sharing for board and other organizational documents. Market-leading entity management software gives businesses confidence that their plans are based on 100% accurate data. You can find out how Diligent and our suite of cloud-based solutions can help you to maintain operations in the event of the unexpected by getting in touch with us .

Solutions Solutions

  • Board Management
  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Audit Management
  • Market Intelligence

Resources Resources

  • Research & Reports

Company Company

Your data matters.

  • Skip to content
  • Skip to search
  • Skip to footer

What Is Business Continuity?

What is business continuity

Business continuity is an organization's ability to maintain or quickly resume acceptable levels of product or service delivery following a short-term event that disrupts normal operations. Examples of disruptions range from natural disasters to power outages.

  • Watch video (1:14)
  • Business continuity

Contact Cisco

  • Get a call from Sales

Call Sales:

  • 1-800-553-6387
  • US/CAN | 5am-5pm PT
  • Product / Technical Support
  • Training & Certification

Is business continuity the same as business resilience or disaster recovery?

Business continuity, disaster recovery, and business resilience are not the same, but they are related.

  • Business continuity is a process-driven approach to maintaining operations in the event of an unplanned disruption such as a cyber attack or natural disaster. Business continuity planning covers the entire business—processes, assets, workers, and more. It isn't focused solely on IT infrastructure and business systems.
  • Business resilience encompasses crisis management and business continuity. It requires a response to all types of risk that an organization may face. An organization that is business resilient is essentially in a constant state of "expecting the unexpected." It means continuously preparing to meet disruptions head-on, including events of extended duration that may affect more than one facility or region.
  • Disaster recovery focuses specifically on how to restore an enterprise's IT infrastructure and business systems following a disruption. It is considered an element of business continuity. A business continuity plan (BCP) might contain several disaster recovery plans, for example.

What is a business continuity strategy?

A business continuity strategy is a summary of the mitigation, crisis, and recovery plans to be implemented after a disruption to resume normal operations. "Business continuity strategy" is often used interchangeably with "business continuity plan." Both consider the broader goals, legal and regulatory requirements, personnel, and even the business's clients and partners.

What does a business continuity plan mitigate?

A relevant and well-tested BCP can help ease the negative impacts of an unexpected business disruption in many ways.

  • Financial impact: Disruptions to product supply chains and critical services to customers can directly affect sales and revenue. Downtime caused by unplanned disruptions can also result in higher costs for a business as it looks to repair operations and mitigate previously unidentified threats.
  • Reputation and brand impact: Failure to resume operations quickly and supply customers with the products or services they expect can prompt customer defections and tarnish the brand. Damage to reputation can in turn cause investors and capital sources to pull back funding, exacerbating the financial impact of a business disruption.
  • Regulatory impact: Customers and vendors are likely to complain when businesses fail to respond appropriately to disruptions, which may result in regulatory scrutiny or even censure. In highly-regulated industries, such as energy and financial services, business continuity planning is mandatory to ensure regulatory compliance.

Business continuity planning activities

A well-crafted and tested BCP can go a long way toward helping a business recover swiftly from a disruption. These are key steps a business may want to take.

Identifying critical business areas and functions

Business continuity planning begins with identifying an organization's key business areas and the critical functions within those areas. A business needs to determine and document the acceptable downtime for each area and function considered vital to operations. Then a plan to restore operations can be established, documented, and communicated.

Analyzing risks, threats, and potential impacts

Creating appropriate response scenarios requires knowing what disruptions the business could experience. An upfront analysis of risks and threats is necessary in order to prepare contingency responses to events. Organizations can also conduct a back-end analysis after an event to gather metrics and assess lessons learned. This information can drive improvements in how the business responds to disruptions.

Outlining and assigning responsibilities

A BCP details which personnel will be responsible for implementing specific aspects of the plan. It also identifies key decision-makers and a chain of command. The plan should include alternative options in case primary personnel are incapacitated or unavailable to respond to the disruption.

Defining and documenting alternatives

A business continuity plan should define and document alternative communication strategies in case telephone services or the internet are down. Enterprises should also have alternatives for mission-critical spaces such as data centers or manufacturing facilities in case buildings are damaged.

Assessing the need for critical backups

Essential equipment may be damaged or unavailable during a disruptive event. A business should consider whether it has access to backup equipment and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) during extended power outages. Business-critical data needs to be backed up regularly, and is mandatory in many regulated industries.

Testing, training, and communication

Business continuity plans need to be tested to ensure they will be effective. (Disaster recovery plans should be tested as well.) A best practice is to conduct a plan review at least quarterly with leadership and key team members who are responsible for executing the plan.

Many companies use role-playing sessions, simulations, and other types of exercises several times per year to test their BCPs. This approach helps to identify gaps, develop strategies for improvement, and determine if more resources are needed. Targeted staff training and communicating to the whole workforce the benefits of having a business continuity plan are also vital to its success.

Related products and solutions

  • Cisco Webex Contact Center
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
  • Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer
  • AppDynamics Application Performance Management
  • ThousandEyes End User Monitoring
  • ThousandEyes Endpoint Agents

You may also like…

  • Cisco’s Business Resiliency Strategy
  • Business Continuity Blogs
  • Business Continuity Planning

benefits of business continuity planning

  • +1 (800) 826-0777
  • Mass Notification
  • Threat Intelligence
  • Employee Safety Monitoring
  • Travel Risk Management
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Remote Workforce
  • Location and Asset Protection
  • Business Continuity
  • Why AlertMedia
  • Who We Serve
  • Customer Spotlights
  • Resource Library
  • Downloads & Guides

A woman uses a white board to guide a discussion of business continuity strategy with her team in a conference room

A Deming Cycle Approach to Business Continuity Strategy

Building your business continuity strategy on a Design-Test-Reflect-Iterate cycle lays a solid, adaptable foundation to manage dynamic risks.


How to Build Your Business Continuity Strategy

It’s not a question of if but when a business will encounter disruption. Challenges are inevitable, whether natural disasters, cybersecurity breaches, or other unforeseen emergencies. How your company responds will determine its trajectory.

Forty-three percent of small businesses affected by a natural disaster never reopen. But a business continuity strategy can prevent your business from living the statistics. We’ve talked to financial, aerospace, and telecom industry leaders to understand their business continuity strategies. Read on to learn about crafting an adaptable, systemic approach to navigating expected and unforeseen challenges.

Download Our Business Continuity Checklist

A cyclical approach to business continuity.

Business is not static, and neither are the threats to operations. Organizations need dynamic frameworks to navigate uncertainty in an environment characterized by constant change and evolving risks. That’s why many companies turn to the Deming Cycle, also known as PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act).

A diagram of the Deming Cycle's four steps: Plan, Do, Check, Act

  • Plan: Develop a robust continuity strategy
  • Do: Execute the preparedness measures
  • Check: Assess effectiveness through testing
  • Act: Adjust based on feedback for continual improvement

A business continuity strategy ensures your organization can maintain operational resilience during and after a crisis. With a systematic approach, you can manage various disruptions effectively. But first, you need to understand the potential threats to your business and how those threats would disrupt operational continuity.

This assessment process is critical for your initial planning and as an ongoing pulse check to ensure your business continuity strategy is effective—considering how your organization’s vulnerabilities and risks are changing.

A cyclical diagram of our business continuity strategy in four steps: design, test, reflect, and iterate

  • Design: Develop the initial framework
  • Test: Implement controls to assess functionality and performance
  • Reflect: Evaluate outcomes and identify critical optimizations
  • Iterate: Adapt the strategy for improved business continuity management

Better business continuity planning with SAC Wireless

On The Employee Safety Podcast , we spoke with Larry Pomykalski, Director of National Programs & Business Continuity at SAC Wireless. Larry underscores the need to cast a wide net when planning for interruptions. The plan should be broad enough to encompass a broad range of scenarios while maintaining business processes. By continuously evaluating and adjusting plans based on feedback and changing circumstances, it’s possible to minimize business disruption and speed recovery.

Larry notes that while it’s impossible to foresee every disruption, having a variety of plans enables organizations to modify strategies quickly to suit the current situation. By identifying critical business functions and establishing recovery time objectives, businesses can prioritize risks as they develop effective mitigation strategies tailored to their specific needs.

“Remain open-minded; be imaginative about what you can and can’t see impacting your organization.[…] That’s the first step in tracking potential threats,” Larry advises.

1. Design a working business continuity management strategy

Identify stakeholders and plan leaders.

A business continuity management (BCM) team is responsible for implementing your plan, so choosing the right people is vital to success. It’s typically an interdisciplinary team made up of individuals from various departments and roles within the organization, including:

  • Business Continuity Manager: This individual leads the continuity program’s development, implementation, and maintenance.
  • Risk Management Specialist: They identify, assess, and prioritize risks to the organization’s operations.
  • IT Director/Manager: This leader ensures critical IT systems and infrastructure resilience.
  • Operations Manager: Their role involves coordinating continuity efforts across departments and ensuring operational readiness.
  • Human Resources Manager: They are responsible for developing employee safety, communication, and workforce continuity plans.
  • Facilities Manager: This leader addresses physical security and facility-related risks.
  • Supply Chain Manager: They are responsible for assessing supply chain risks and developing strategies for continuity.
  • Legal and Compliance Officer: Their responsibilities include continuity plan compliance with regulatory requirements and contractual obligations.
  • Communications Coordinator: Their main task is to develop communication protocols and channels for internal and external stakeholders during emergencies.
  • Team Leaders: These individuals act as boots on the ground, providing direction and guidance to workers on the floor, in the field, or wherever they’re located.

By assembling a diverse and capable team with representation from these key areas, organizations can effectively address all aspects of business continuity planning and enhance their resilience to disruptions.

Assess potential risks and impacts

Only by knowing your risk profile inside and out can you manage and mitigate the risks to business continuity. The more you know, the more proactive you can be.

Assessments come in different forms. A threat or risk assessment considers the potential causes of disruptions, such as natural disasters, cyberattacks, power outages, supply chain interruptions, public demonstrations, public health risks, and many more. On the other hand, a business impact analysis focuses on the impacts that arise from these emergencies and disruptions, such as downtime, travel delays, compromised data, increased costs, facilities damage, delayed or lost income, regulatory fines, reputational damage, and more.

Begin with both types of assessment to understand the vulnerabilities and risks that could threaten business continuity.

Navigate resiliency challenges with regular assessments

Regular vulnerability assessments are crucial to maintaining business continuity, especially in the face of evolving challenges, such as a geographically dispersed workforce and climate-related disruptions. Jeff Dow, Manager of Protection and Resiliency at a major financial organization, highlighted the importance of staying vigilant during a recent interview on The Employee Safety Podcast .

Jeff’s team recognized that transitioning to a hybrid work model, with employees across 49 states, introduced new risks and vulnerabilities. They conducted thorough risk assessments to identify potential threats related to remote work, like extreme weather events.

They concentrated on three assessment methods to adapt their plans supporting business continuity:

Set your recovery time objective (RTO)

When setting a recovery time objective (RTO), you must consider your organization’s specific needs and priorities. Start by evaluating the criticality of each business process or system, considering factors such as customer expectations, regulatory requirements, and financial implications. Determine the maximum tolerable downtime for each function, keeping in mind that mission-critical systems may require a shorter RTO than less essential processes.

Once you’ve defined the RTOs for your key business functions, develop comprehensive strategies to achieve them. This may involve implementing redundant systems, establishing backup procedures, and investing in technologies that minimize downtime. Review and update your RTOs to ensure they remain relevant and aligned with your evolving business needs.

Remember to conduct tests and simulations regularly to validate the achievability of your RTOs and identify areas for improvement in your recovery strategies. Setting realistic and achievable recovery time objectives can enhance your organization’s preparedness for disruptions and minimize their impact on your operations and stakeholders.

Develop plans to prevent, mitigate, respond to, and recover from business disruptions

You might as well consider every version of your business continuity plan (BCP) a rough draft. Until it has been tested, you can’t be sure it’s comprehensive or effective enough to safeguard your business operations. Here are some necessary elements to consider for your dynamic strategy:

  • The tools and the team to monitor threats and determine their potential impacts on your organization
  • An emergency communication plan and a software system to keep everyone connected during expected and unexpected crises
  • Backup plans, equipment, locations, power, and any other redundancies that will keep operations running

Read more about the business continuity planning process on our blog.

2. Test your plan during actual and simulated emergencies

Train employees.

In the previous step, you determined which stakeholders need to be involved in the planning and preparedness efforts, risk mitigation, response procedures, disaster recovery, and any other elements of your business continuity strategy. This next phase involves preparing these people for their responsibilities. Here are suggested trainings tailored to each stakeholder’s role within the business continuity framework:

  • Business Continuity Manager: Training should cover developing and maintaining the continuity program, including risk assessment methodologies, plan development, testing protocols, and coordination with departmental stakeholders.
  • Risk Management Specialist: Offer detailed training on risk assessment techniques such as scenario analysis, impact assessment, and probability assessment.
  • IT Director/Manager: Conduct technical training on data backup and recovery procedures, system redundancy configurations, cybersecurity best practices, and incident response protocols.
  • Operations Manager: Provide training on crisis management principles, including incident response procedures, business impact analysis, and resource allocation strategies.
  • Human Resources Manager: Offer comprehensive training on crisis communication strategies, employee safety protocols, and workforce continuity planning. Include modules on remote work arrangements, employee assistance programs, and psychological support during crises.
  • Facilities Manager: Review building security systems, access control protocols, emergency response drills, and facility maintenance procedures.
  • Supply Chain Manager: Provide training on supply chain risk management techniques, including supplier assessment methodologies, inventory management strategies, and alternative sourcing options.
  • Legal and Compliance Officer: Cover topics such as data protection laws, industry standards, contractual obligations for continuity services, and legal implications of business disruptions.
  • Communications Coordinator: Provide comprehensive training on crisis communication strategies, including message development, media relations, stakeholder engagement techniques, and communication channel management.

By providing detailed and targeted training to each stakeholder, you ensure they have the necessary knowledge and skills to contribute to the organization’s business continuity efforts effectively. Of course, a significant part of that training is testing the skills they’ve learned.

Conduct drills and other exercises

Emergency drills , full-scale simulations, and tabletop exercises can test your preparedness, response, and recovery plans. These exercises allow you to identify weaknesses and gaps in your plans in a controlled environment, enabling you to address them proactively before a real crisis occurs. By simulating various scenarios, you can evaluate the effectiveness of your communication protocols, decision-making processes, and resource allocation strategies.

Involving key stakeholders in these exercises fosters collaboration, enhances coordination, and increases familiarity with their roles and responsibilities during emergencies. Regularly conducting drills and exercises ensures your team remains well-prepared and agile in responding to unexpected events, strengthening your organization’s resilience and ability to navigate challenges effectively.

After-action reviews following exercises, not just actual emergencies, are essential for continuous improvement and learning. These reviews provide an opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of your response and recovery plans in a structured manner before putting them to the test with your business on the line. By examining what went well and what could be improved, you can identify lessons learned and best practices to incorporate into future planning efforts.

On top of that, conducting after-action reviews fosters a culture of accountability and transparency within your organization, encouraging open communication and constructive feedback among team members. This process allows you to iterate on your strategies and capabilities, ensuring you are better prepared to handle real emergencies when they arise.

Activate the plan as any actual threats or disruptions arise

Hopefully, you’ve been able to prioritize training and exercises before a significant crisis hits. Doing so ensures that your team is well-prepared to execute the plan with confidence and efficiency when it matters most.

However, even if you haven’t had the opportunity to conduct extensive training beforehand, your preparation through drills and simulations will still significantly enhance your response capabilities. Remember to remain agile and adaptable during emergencies, leveraging the knowledge and experience gained from training to make informed decisions and effectively manage the situation.

3. Reflect on the plan’s effectiveness and its need to evolve

Perform after-action reviews.

After-action reviews (AARs) enhance business resilience by providing a structured post-crisis evaluation and improvement framework. These reviews thoroughly examine the response to a crisis or disruption, aiming to identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for enhancement. They allow you to test your business continuity plan and management systems in real-time to address any gaps. Typically conducted shortly after the event, AARs gather input from key stakeholders involved in the response effort, including frontline responders, managers, and support staff.

Conducting an AAR begins with a comprehensive review of the incident, including the timeline of events, actions taken, and outcomes achieved. This retrospective analysis allows participants to understand what transpired during the crisis and how the organization responded. Facilitators guide discussions by prompting participants to reflect on their experiences, share observations, and identify successes and improvement areas.

Central to the AAR process is emphasizing open and honest communication, creating a safe space for participants to voice their perspectives and insights without fear of retribution. This collaborative approach fosters a culture of continuous learning and improvement within the organization. By soliciting feedback from all levels of the organization, AARs capture diverse perspectives, enriching the insights gained from the review process.

Determine gaps and necessary contingency plans

The ultimate goal of conducting AARs is to distill lessons learned from the crisis response and translate them into actionable improvements to the organization’s business continuity plan and risk management strategy. This may involve updating procedures, refining communication protocols, or investing additional resources to address identified gaps. By leveraging the insights gleaned from AARs, organizations can strengthen their preparedness for future crises, enhancing their resilience and ability to navigate adversity effectively.

Boeing’s all-hazards approach to business continuity

An effective business continuity plan relies heavily on the team’s ability to collaborate seamlessly, even across physical and geographic boundaries. On The Employee Safety Podcast , we spoke with Keith Berthiume, Enterprise Emergency Preparedness Program Manager at Boeing, to understand why Boeing is an excellent example of an agile, collaborative approach.

Keith underscores the significance of assembling diverse teams to evaluate impacts, recognize critical needs and functions, and coordinate responses promptly. This real-time collaboration has proven instrumental for Boeing, enabling the company to swiftly adapt and respond to evolving situations, such as the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boeing’s success highlights the importance of effective communication and coordination within the organization and with external stakeholders, including service providers and off-site teams. Businesses can enhance their resilience and readiness to navigate complex, unforeseen disruptions by fostering collaboration across boundaries.

“Having senior leaders all together on a team is a significant force multiplier because the executives at the highest level of the company are able to ensure implementation of integrated and coordinated response, seamless coordination, and a unified direction from the leadership team,” Keith told us.

4. Iterate on your strategy in light of dynamic risks

Adapt to company changes.

The after-action reviews are what keep the cycle turning. While the advance threat and impact assessments help you align with and prioritize what you know, post-event reviews are about opening up to what you don’t know—or what you didn’t know with the most recent iteration of your plan.

You may only know about certain vulnerabilities once you are in an actual or simulated emergency. So, looking back and acting on those learnings is foundational to business continuity.

Adapt to changing risk

Twenty years ago, businesses rarely considered the effect that a prolonged pandemic could have on their ability to operate. Continuity plans were based more on immediate threats like natural disasters or economic downturns.

However, the landscape has shifted dramatically, emphasizing the need for organizations to adapt and expand their risk management strategies to encompass emerging threats such as pandemics. The global impact of COVID-19 has underscored the importance of proactive planning and preparedness for unforeseen events that can disrupt operations on a massive scale. As businesses navigate the complexities of this evolving risk landscape, it becomes increasingly crucial to prioritize resilience and agility in their continuity planning efforts.

In response to the lessons learned from COVID-19 and other emerging risks, business leaders can take proactive steps to stay ahead of future challenges. To adapt to changing risks, you should:

  • Conduct regular risk assessments to identify vulnerabilities.
  • Diversify supply chains to mitigate disruptions.
  • Prioritize employee well-being and flexible work arrangements.
  • Implement cross-training programs to ensure redundancy in critical roles.
  • Maintain adequate financial reserves to weather economic uncertainties.
  • Strengthen cybersecurity measures for remote work environments by implementing multi-factor authentication, encryption, and regular security training.

Organizations can also make use of various technologies for proactive threat monitoring. Threat intelligence platforms can help them discover cyber risks, while real-time alert tools can keep them ahead of natural disasters or other widespread disruptions.

Strategic Planning to Keep the Wheel Turning

Business continuity planning is not a nice-to-have but a necessity in today’s unpredictable world. Whether it’s a natural disaster, cybersecurity breach, or other unforeseen emergency, the ability to respond effectively can make or break a business. As industry leaders and best practices highlight, adopting a structured approach like the PDCA cycle is essential for building resilience and adaptability.

Learning from business continuity strategy examples, companies can prioritize collaboration, real-time communication, and flexibility in their response efforts. Download our business continuity checklist for a template to help guide you on solid business continuity planning.

More Articles You May Be Interested In

Guide to ISO 22301 for Business Continuity Management

Business Continuity Checklist

Please complete the form below to receive this resource.

Check Your Inbox!

The document you requested has been sent to your provided email address.

Cookies are required to play this video.

Click the blue shield icon on the bottom left of your screen to edit your cookie preferences.

Cookie Notice

benefits of business continuity planning

Move fast, think slow: How financial services can strike a balance with GenAI

benefits of business continuity planning

Take on Tomorrow @ the World Economic Forum in Davos: Energy demand

benefits of business continuity planning

PwC’s Global Investor Survey 2023

benefits of business continuity planning

Climate risk, resilience and adaptation

benefits of business continuity planning

Business transformation

benefits of business continuity planning

Sustainability assurance

benefits of business continuity planning

The Leadership Agenda

benefits of business continuity planning

PwC’s Voice of the Consumer Survey 2024

benefits of business continuity planning

The s+b digital issue: Corporate “power changers”

benefits of business continuity planning

The New Equation

benefits of business continuity planning

PwC’s Global Annual Review

benefits of business continuity planning

Committing to Net Zero

benefits of business continuity planning

The Solvers Challenge

Loading Results

No Match Found

Business continuity

A holistic approach .

Can your organisation sustain operations in the midst of a serious crisis? How do you identify “mission-critical” processes? Do you have a backup strategy in the event of a massive disruption in your technology, facilities or other functions? Are your employees trained to respond during business disruptions?

Companies that take a holistic approach to business continuity management develop the ability to identify, prevent and prepare for events that may disrupt normal activities. 

A fully integrated business continuity strategy helps to build an overall culture of resilience .

67% of organisations applied a business continuity plan as part of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Source: PwC’s Global Crisis Survey 2021

Business continuity and a culture of resilience

Business continuity means more than just making sure the lights stay on when a crisis hits. The benefits of establishing a business continuity strategy include:

  • Resilience: With greater awareness of what really matters during a crisis, you can focus resources effectively.
  • Employee engagement and ownership: Your people understand their roles and responsibilities in a crisis, and are invested in executing a seamless recovery .
  • Strategic recovery plans: Pre-defined strategic decisions are embedded into recovery plans to guide your people toward a common goal during disruption.
  • Detailed business impacts and risks identified: Potential risks and areas of concern can be mitigated in “peace time” rather than in the heat of a crisis. 
  • Empowered leadership: Leaders are actively enabled to monitor the state of resilience within the organisation and provide hands-on guidance and support.
  • Continuous improvement: Tests, drills and simulation exercises help you understand what works and what doesn’t, enabling continued resilience and growth.

Assessing an organisation’s business continuity program

Effective business continuity programs have a common framework, core capabilities, and coordination of resources and activities to plan for and respond to events. 

PwC’s Organizational Preparedness Assessment (OPA), based on leading industry practices, helps organisations identify program blind spots and provides actionable recommendations to enhance program maturity.

PwC’s business continuity planning solutions

We’ve built scalable solutions to create a bespoke solution for each of our clients:

  • Business continuity program assessment and design
  • Business impact analysis and interruption risk assessment
  • Recovery plan creation and resilience improvement
  • Business continuity program exercises, maintenance and training
  • Business continuity program technology enablement and enterprise risk management integration
  • Third-party resilience framework and analysis
  • Crisis management program development and exercises
  • Information technology disaster recovery and business continuity program alignment and analysis

PwC brings depth and experience to support your response to an enterprise-wide crisis

Our PwC crisis management teams have developed tools and processes to help you survive an unexpected event and emerge stronger.

We take a holistic view of your organisation’s business continuity needs. And as your trusted advisor, we’ll help you build resilience for the long term.





Related services

We welcome your comments.

Your request / feedback has been routed to the appropriate person. Should you need to reference this in the future we have assigned it the reference number "refID" .

Thank you for your comments / suggestions.

Required fields are marked with an asterisk( * )

Please correct the errors and send your information again.

Tick this box to verify you are not a robot

By submitting your email address, you acknowledge that you have read the Privacy Statement and that you consent to our processing data in accordance with the Privacy Statement (including international transfers). If you change your mind at any time about wishing to receive the information from us, you can send us an email message using the Contact Us page.

Dave Stainback

Dave Stainback

Global Crisis & Resilience Co-Leader, PwC United States

Tel: +1 678 419 1355

Bobbie Ramsden-Knowles

Bobbie Ramsden-Knowles

Global Crisis & Resilience Co-Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7483 422701

© 2017 - 2024 PwC. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see for further details.

  • Legal notices
  • Cookie policy
  • Legal disclaimer
  • Terms and conditions

Contact Us QR Code

5 reasons for business continuity plan: importance and purpose

You never need a business continuity plan until you do. Here are 5 reasons you should start yours today.

Read time: 6 minutes

...updated 3/14/2024...

Organizations often underestimate the importance of a business continuity plan. No one ever notices its absence – until disaster strikes. By then, it’s too late.

Any unplanned interruption of normal business processes can create immense hurdles and costly setbacks. Operations suffer. Revenue may suffer even more. 

Unplanned interruptions take many forms. It can be something as simple as a power outage. It could be a major hurricane. Ultimately, a disaster can be anything that disrupts normal business operations. Regardless of the cause, unplanned means unexpected.

With a business continuity plan in place, you position yourself to minimize the impact and damage of an unexpected event. In this article, we will discuss:

The purpose of business continuity planning and the difference between it and disaster recovery .

The top 5 reasons your organization needs a business continuity plan.

The importance of business continuity planning beyond simply restoring operations.

How to get started building a business continuity plan.

planning meeting

What is business continuity planning?

A business continuity plan gives an organization the ability to maintain essential processes before, during, and after a disaster.

Business continuity differs from disaster recovery in its holistic approach to the business.  Business continuity reflects a business-wide implementation plan to ensure the continuation of critical business functions should a disruptive event occur. Disaster recovery “recovers” an organization’s hardware, applications, and data after a technology disruption.

Learn more about Business continuity and disaster recovery solutions and services

disaster recovery planning

5 reasons your organization needs a business continuity plan

While it takes time and effort to build and test a business continuity plan, you’ll find it well worth it should a disaster strike.

Here are 5 of the main reasons you need a business continuity plan:

Reason #1: disaster recovery

As noted in the previous section, disaster recovery plays a significant role in the restoration of business operations.

Disasters happen. Their unexpected nature is what makes them so devastating. Being prepared may not prevent the disaster, but it does mitigate the impact on your business.

Research states that 40 percent of small businesses never recover from a disaster.¹ Larger organizations take major hits.

Often when we think of disasters, we think of major events like earthquakes, floods, and natural disasters. These, however, aren’t the only causes of downtime. Data deletion due to human error, poor security habits of users, and incompetent employees or accidents also rank among the prime reasons for IT downtime.

data center backup

Reason #2: data shows backups are not enough

Most companies deploy some form of data backup. Having data backed up does you no good if you cannot access it, such as could occur in a power outage or need to leave an office site even on a temporary basis. 

Accessing data in the event of a disaster can prove a problem. After all, having a backup is different from accessing it.

It’s a question business continuity planning asks: How will you access that data in the event of an outage? 

For example, the average enterprise backup reaches over a petabyte or more. This pushes conventional storage to its limits. Even several terabytes of data backed up by a small to mid-sized business can strain capacity and bandwidth. And if you don’t have a data center or hardware prepared to handle this volume of data, it does you no good.

By deploying business continuity and disaster recovery solutions leveraging cloud technologies and virtual servers, organizations can run critical business applications from backup instances on virtual servers in the cloud. This approach enables you to effectively “flip a switch” and can keep your downtime to a minimum.

business man and woman meeting

Reason #3: insurance does not protect your data

Cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated and successful every year. 

A 2018 study of companies that were attacked found that 68% of breaches took months or longer to discover.² And insurance doesn’t restore data due to data center, server, or backup loss, or even lost access to any of these. 

Insurance isn’t enough to cover all the damages of a disaster. Yes, it can cover the costs of repairs, but in terms of loss of revenue and business prospects due to downtime, it has little effect.

happy business woman

Reason #4: competitive edge

You have a big advantage over your competitors if you can restore normal operations while they are still trying to figure it out. Getting your network back up and running fast, restoring access to your business data and documents, and reconnecting your employees to communicate with each other and support your customers allows for your organization to stand-out as a leader and one that can be trusted and relied upon.

working remotely

Reason #5: business must go on

Keeping a business going is essential. Taking a very simple view, if you lose the ability to buy and sell, your business – for all practical purposes – ceases to function.

Business continuity makes this possible by establishing actions that must be taken to ensure operations remain active, no matter the nature of the disaster. For example:

If the power goes out without certainty of when it will be restored, can you switch to a server or network located in a functioning data center?

If you experience a server failure, do you have a backup server (or virtual server) ready to go?

If your office location becomes inaccessible for any reason, can your employees work remotely?

When building your business continuity plan, you consider all the possible disruptions you might encounter. Loss of power or an office location is one of the biggest reasons offsite and redundant backup remains one of the most important aspects of IT reliability.

Your business simply cannot afford downtime. A solid business continuity plan can mean the difference between being back up and running in a matter of minutes versus days or even weeks.

customer support rep

The importance of a business continuity plan

A business continuity plan positions your organization to survive serious disruption. It eliminates confusion common to every disaster, providing a clear blueprint for what everyone should do.

More importantly, your business continuity plan supports:

Communication between employees and customers

Workflow operations essential to business activity

Customer service response, especially if you are a service provider

Business security, keeping your data and information secured wherever you and your team find yourself working

The flow of information and documents

Beyond business operations, your business continuity plan helps people. By keeping operations going, you are better positioned to keep your employees working, protecting the jobs that support them and their families. You also continue to meet the needs of your customers, impacting their lives, and if you are in a B2B business, the lives of their customers.

business meeting

We are here to help

We have helped many businesses develop and implement business continuity plans.

In addition to consulting services like these, our IT services can remove the burden of monitoring and managing your data infrastructure to help give you increased reliability, reduced risk and a comprehensive business continuity plan in the event of a disaster.

Our IT services include: 

Server & network management

Device & desktop management

Managed cybersecurity services

End user communication services

Managed cloud services

Data center services

Disaster recovery and backup

IT project work

Remote IT support

We know that your business is unique and has its own needs. In every engagement, you can be confident that we’ll work together to create a business continuity plan and if needed, a technology infrastructure built specifically for you.

Frequently asked questions.

A business continuity plan is crucial for ensuring an organization's resilience during unexpected disruptions, such as natural disasters, cyberattacks, or economic downturns. It helps maintain essential functions and minimizes downtime.

A business continuity plan typically includes risk assessments, recovery strategies, communication plans, and testing. These components help businesses prepare for and respond to emergencies effectively, minimizing the impact on operations.

To assess your needs, identify critical functions, potential risks, and the resources required for recovery. A tailored plan should address your organization's unique vulnerabilities and objectives.

While a business continuity plan can significantly improve an organization's chances of survival, it does not guarantee it. Common challenges include resource constraints, resistance to change, and the need for regular updates to stay effective.

A business continuity plan should be reviewed at least annually or after significant changes to business operations, technology, or personnel. External events, such as major industry shifts, emerging threats, or regulatory updates, can also trigger revisions to ensure the plan remains relevant and effective.

Recommended for you

What does the future hold for the modern workplace

What does the future hold for the modern workplace

With more remote workers, has the office become a relic of a bygone era?

Will your business survive the digital apocalypse?

Will your business survive the digital apocalypse?

Unless you successfully manage the digital transformation, your company may not exist in 10 years. So what can your business do to survive?

Major Global Food Company

Major Global Food Company

Learn how Ricoh transformed the print environment at a global food giant, saving $1 million+ in first-year operational costs by right-sizing, optimizing and standardizing.

  • 1.
  • 2.

Browse the Ricoh portfolio at

  • Sales Inquiry
  • attach_file Supplies
  • miscellaneous_services Technical Support
  • paid Account or Invoice

Key Benefits of Business Continuity Planning

Published on November 01, 2023

Jump to a section

Everything you need to know about business continuity, straight to your inbox.

According to Deloitte, the measure of a successful business lies not only in your ability to retain customers and serve the market but also in your capacity to withstand unexpected events that could steer your business away from your desired direction.

51% of businesses struck by a natural disaster shut down within two years of the incident. But even more alarming, a staggering 93% facing data breaches or cybersecurity issues cease operations within a year.

Natural disasters and cybersecurity incidents, among other business continuity incidents , can be devastating, not only in terms of immediate damage but also in their long-term effects on business continuity and reputation.

Let's look at some advantages of business continuity management and planning.

business continuity planning C2

12 Key Benefits of Business Continuity Planning

1. reduce operational downtime.

Operational downtime can lead to significant financial losses, as every moment of inactivity can equate to lost revenue. A well-constructed business continuity plan is designed to mitigate these interruptions and ensure that operations resume swiftly. By minimising downtime, businesses can maintain productivity and safeguard their revenue streams.

2. Boost Brand Trust

A company's ability to maintain operations and recover rapidly from disruptions can significantly bolster its image. Customers, the general public, and key stakeholders value reliability. By demonstrating resilience through a business continuity plan, businesses can enhance trust and solidify their company reputation in the market.

3. Comply With Regulatory Requirements

Many industries are bound by legal and regulatory standards that mandate certain levels of preparedness. A comprehensive business continuity strategy ensures that businesses not only meet these standards but also operate within the legal framework. This adherence can prevent potential legal complications and penalties.

4. Facilitate Decision-Making

During a crisis, swift and informed decisions are crucial. Business continuity planning offers a structured framework that guides decision-making processes. This ensures that businesses can act proactively, rather than only reacting to events, leading to more effective crisis management.

business continuity planning c2

5. Protect Business Assets

For many businesses, assets such as data, intellectual property, and physical infrastructure are invaluable. Business continuity plans emphasise the protection of these assets and ensure their security and integrity. The loss or compromise of these assets can have long-term repercussions, which make their protection a top priority.

6. Boost Employee Morale

Employees value stability and security in their workplace. A robust BC plan signals to staff that the company is prepared for challenges. This heightened morale can lead to increased job satisfaction, loyalty, and overall productivity.

7. Gain Competitive Edge

In the competitive business landscape, preparedness can make a huge difference. Companies with a well-structured BC plan can maintain operations when others falter, offering a distinct advantage. This reliability can lead to increased market share and customer loyalty.

8. Secure Supply Chain

A business's operations often depend on its suppliers. Business continuity planning ensures that these suppliers can consistently deliver, even in challenging times. By securing the supply chain, businesses can prevent potential disruptions and maintain consistent service or product delivery.

9. Benefit from Insurance Savings

Insurance providers often recognise the value of preparedness. Companies with a robust business continuity plan may be eligible for reduced insurance premiums, as they present a lower risk. This can lead to significant financial savings over time.

10. Enhance Risk Management

Risk management is integral to business success. A comprehensive BC plan contributes to a more robust risk management strategy, allowing businesses to identify, assess, and mitigate potential threats more effectively.

11. Strengthen Stakeholder Confidence

Stakeholders, including investors and partners, value stability and foresight. A well-executed BC strategy showcases a business's resilience and adaptability, reinforcing stakeholder confidence in the company's long-term viability.

12. Ensure Operational Resilience

Unforeseen disruptions, whether minor or major, can challenge a business's operations. Business continuity planning equips companies with the tools and strategies to weather these challenges, ensuring they can continue operations and serve their customers effectively.

business continuity graphs

Risks of NOT Having a Business Continuity Plan

Cyber attacks are on the rise. With the availability of advanced and sophisticated tools, cyber attackers can now breach even the most cutting-edge IT systems, leading to substantial data breaches and the exposure of confidential information.

For businesses serving customers, a business continuity plan is a proactive measure to safeguard customer data, both personal and sensitive data, and operational business processes. Through business continuity planning , companies can anticipate and mitigate risks that could harm their reputation, reduce profits, or even lead to bankruptcy.

Also read: 40+ Cybersecurity Statistics for 2024 and Beyond

Case Study: Conti Cyberattack on the Health Service Executive (HSE)

The Conti ransomware attack on Ireland's HSE underscores the importance of business continuity planning and robust cybersecurity measures. The HSE is responsible for providing public health and social care services in Ireland. The attack disrupted health services across the country, leading to the cancellation of many outpatient appointments and other medical services.

The initial breach occurred on March 18, 2021, when a user inadvertently clicked on a malicious Microsoft Excel file from a phishing email. This allowed the malware to infiltrate the HSE's IT systems, undetected, for nearly two months.

This prolonged, undetected attack indicates a gap in the HSE's cybersecurity measures, as there was no system to alert them of the intrusion. By May 2021, when the ransomware was activated, the attackers had extensive access to the HSE's databases.

In response, the HSE initiated its Critical Incident Process, which involved disconnecting the entire National Healthcare Network from the internet. While this action aimed to contain the spread of the ransomware, it disrupted access to essential systems for healthcare professionals and administrative staff. This also had a cascading effect on health services, with hospitals having to revert to manual, paper-based systems in some cases.

The recovery process was lengthy and costly. The HSE had to work diligently to restore systems, ensure that they were secure, and regain the trust of the public. The incident also sparked discussions in Ireland and internationally about the need for better cybersecurity measures in critical infrastructure and public services.

This incident exemplifies that having a business continuity plan is not enough. Organisations must also implement robust cybersecurity measures, continuously assess potential threats, and have contingency plans in place. Effective business continuity strategy and planning ensures operations can continue during disruptions, rather than halting them entirely.

A well-developed business continuity plan can take time, but its value becomes evident when your organisation can continue functioning in the face of adversity.

business meeting c2

Reap All the Benefits of Business Continuity Software

At Continuity2, we've empowered businesses across different industries to take proactive measures to ensure their business continuity and operational resilience.

Every business, whether big or small, grapples with unique business continuity challenges. The nature and magnitude of disruptions may vary, but the fundamental goal remains the same: to adhere to corporate governance standards and sustain operations.

Our C2 Meridian BCMS is designed to automate and assist the day-to-day management of BC plans, from conducting Business Impact Analysis (BIA) and assessing risks to carrying out BC testing and exercise and running dynamic, custom reports.

See for yourself how C2 Meridian BCMS can streamline your business continuity activities. Book a demo today .

Written by Aimee Quinn

Resilience Manager at Continuity2

With an Honours degree in Risk Management from Glasgow Caledonian University and 6+ years in Business Risk and Resilience, Aimee looks after the design and implementation of Business Continuity Management Systems (BCMS) across all clients. From carrying out successful software deployments to achieving ISO 22301, Aimee helps make companies more resilient and their lives easier in the long run.

C2 Author Aimee 1

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning, and how to achieve it

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning

Disaster often strikes without notice. Even with some prior warning, a multitude of factors can cause the best of intentions to result in errors, and mistakes when faced with disaster.  Every incident is unique, and understanding what is the primary goal of business continuity planning can ensure your business can respond to every disaster with a tailored and measured approach.

Below, we explain exactly what is the primary goal of business continuity planning, how to create a business continuity plan, and what measures you need to put in place to maximize your organization’s chances of success during a disaster.

On this page:

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning

Why business continuity planning matters, advantages of business continuity planning, how to write a business continuity plan, difference between disaster recovery and business continuity, business continuity and insurance, testing your business continuity plan, business continuity standards.

To overcome any crisis, and minimize any impact to your staff, customers and the business, you need a robust business continuity plan (BCP).  Having a BCP demonstrates to your customers, insurers, investors, and stakeholders that your business is robust enough to overcome any disaster that it may face.

So, what is the primary goal of business continuity planning?

A business continuity plan presents how the business will proceed during a crisis. It is considered a blueprint for an organization to maintain continuous business operations during disasters, emergencies, and other business disruptions, and get back to normal business operations as early as possible.

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning - BCP primary goal

What are the objectives of business continuity planning

Now we understand what the primary goal of business continuity planning is, let’s take a look at some of the objectives that businesses can achieve through business continuity planning:

  • Operations continuity assurance during disruption – Ensuring your business has the capability, systems, protocols, and practices in place to mitigate most probable forms of disruption
  • Improved mitigation of risks – By establishing risk management strategy and regular appraisal and assessment of existing, and new risks, businesses can improve the mitigation of risks.
  • Robust platforms continued operation – Making sure your organization has the necessary platforms (infrastructure, resources, technology, capacity), to operate in the event of a catastrophic disruption.
  • Improved commercial health, and competitiveness – Developing the capability of the organization to ensure it can operate more effectively, and better serve its customers, than its competitors during a catastrophic event.
  • Reducing the risk of financial loss – Increasing financial stability by ensuring the business can overcome any catastrophic event cost-effectively.
  • Improved customer confidence and reliability – Ensure the uninterrupted availability of all its critical services and products in the event of a catastrophic incident.
  • Secure contribution to the national economy – Through continued contribution to the local, regional and national economy, businesses can support local employment and industry.
  • Increase capability to manage business-impacting disruptions
  • Increased resilience against disruption, to protect sales, production, employees, customers

While the terms business continuity and disaster recovery are closely related, they a different.  Typically, disaster recovery is associated with the technology function of your business.

See also: Business Continuity vs. Disaster Recovery

Your disaster recovery plan should form a core component of your business continuity planning and strategy. This approach puts the emphasis on the whole business, not just on technology alone, reinforcing the concept of continuity of all key business processes, beyond information technology systems.

What are the primary objectives of business continuity planning

The primary output from the business continuity planning process is a Business Continuity Plan (BCP). The BCP comprises many elements which, collectively, define the approach an organization should take to recover to normal business operations.

See also: Understanding Business Continuity

So, we understand what the primary goal of business continuity planning is, and we also understand some of the objectives that a business can fulfil through business continuity planning.  But why does business continuity matter, and what are the advantages for your business?

Businesses strive to remain competitive regardless of whether they are a small business or medium organization, or the industry they are in. For your business, it is crucial to retain and maintain your existing customers while simultaneously growing your customer base.

What does this have to do with business continuity planning and achieving the primary goal and objectives?

Having the capability to manage any adverse incident effectively can positively affect your business’ reputation and market value, increasing customer confidence.

At a basic level, there is no better test of your capability in serving your customers then than immediately following an adverse event.

Most businesses have several disaster recovery solutions available, ranging from data backups to data recovery. But what recovery processes do you have for the remainder of your business processes and workflows?

benefits of business continuity planning

There is an increase in consumer and regulatory expectations for security today. Organizations need to understand the processes and workflows within their business and the impact of the loss of these processes in the event of an adverse incident.

Disruptions to an organization’s operations can be very costly, both in the short the long term. They can adversely affect the market value and consumer confidence.

If in the event of a disruptive event, customer experience is negatively impacted, then those customers can quickly abandon the organization permanently.

Building your recovery strategy around these processes can be mitigated through business continuity planning:

  • Risk mitigation and risk management strategies – The best way to reduce the impact of a disruption is to avoid it. By implementing, or adjusting, existing work processes and procedures, businesses can often significantly reduce the impact of any disruption or even avoid altogether.
  • The protection of crucial business functions and assets – In the event of a significant disruptive incident, you need to take swift action to protect essential functions and assets in your business. For example, in the event, your supply chain is disrupted, you should have in place alternative sourcing solutions to minimize any interruption to service delivery.
  • Steps to restore impacted operations and assets as quickly as possible – Any protective measures, such as sourcing from an alternative supply chain, should only be temporary. What you should be aiming for, and as per the primary goal of business continuity planning, is for your business return to normal operations, at the earliest opportunity.

Business continuity planning can help your business react in an efficient and effective manner to unplanned disruptive incidents and events, reducing losses and impact on your business’ ability to operate.

Many businesses are facing deliberate and accidental damages. These damages can cause significant disruptions in the operations and interfere with preparing for emergencies.

That’s why we have business continuity planning. It helps you with the recovery strategy, prepare for the unexpected incidents, and show you the ultimate benefits.

Importance of business continuity planning

Whatever problems you’re facing with your business, you are bound to end up with some consequences for the best or the worst.

While you can’t altogether avoid getting hit, you can at least try to reduce the effect by executing a clear and comprehensive business continuity plan.

A perfect plan will help you survive. Make sure you throw your plan out there and test it. Don’t forget to see how you can minimize the potential impact of crises .

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning - BCP benefits

Key benefits of business continuity planning

While we’re at it, let’s see how business continuity planning can help you:

  • keeps your business trading during and after a crisis
  • recovers operations more quickly after interruptions
  • reduces expenses and duration of any disruption
  • reduces risks and financial exposure
  • builds considerable seller-customer confidence and trust
  • safeguard company reputation
  • develops confidence within the business
  • complies with regulatory or legal requirements
  • insures against otherwise unacceptable risks
  • saves lives, if dangerous events (such as a fire) occur

You may find the basis for business continuity planning to be two linked, but distinct practices :

  • Risk assessment – it shows the different type of situation you may face
  • Business impact analysis (BIA) – this determines the cooldown period for major activities

Priorities and deadlines for activities are BIA’s territory. While risk assessment is limited to drawing the possible scenarios, the effects, and the danger.

These two provides you with the most reliable information you can use to develop your continuity plan.

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning - BCP process

Your business continuity plan (BCP) should outline the course of action you need to take to restore business functions as quickly as possible.

Business continuity plans are tailored to specific business workflows and processes, with each BCP unique to each organization.  However, there are some common steps that businesses undertake when developing business continuity plans:

  • Assignment of a business continuity planning team – The business continuity planning team, will coordinate the activities required to assemble and develop the plan. The contact details of for each member of the team should be documented, as well as the role for each team member within the management structure.
  • Risk analysis and assessment – The first step is to identify potential areas of risk, the likelihood of that risk occurring, and the level of impact that risk will have on the business. Read more about IT risk and technology risk assessment methodologies .
  • Analysis of the potential impacts of disruptions – A business impact analysis, or BIA , assesses the impact that any risks would have on a business’ operations. It will also ascertain any financial impacts too. This analysis helps the business continuity planning team to prioritize the plan’s sequence of events, and determine restoration timelines, in terms of RPO and RTO .
  • Strategy development – The protection and restoration of business functions, process, and procedures will be a core part of the business continuity plan. The team will need to coordinate, identify and document action plans to address each type of risk. The action plans need to be tailored to fit specific scenarios, such as a natural disaster, as well as a specific business unit.  Disaster recovery plans fall into this step.  For instance, if a flood was to damage critical computing equipment, the IT department may need to restore data from backups.
  • Training, testing, and exercises – It is crucial to test the plan to evaluate the plan’s feasibility. Exercises will help the business continuity team to identify potential issues, as well as familiarizing them with the content of the plan. Training activities must be performed regularly to ensure that team members stay competent and proficient.
  • Regular revisions – Your business continuity plan should be continually updated, and where necessary revised, to maintain its relevance and usefulness. For instance, the plan may identify the use of software or personnel that are no longer available. Without an updated plan, any business continuity effort could be compromised.

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning

What should a business continuity plan include?

The nature of the solution will depend on the type of disruption.  Try covering the following areas:

  • Emergency response – your priority should be the welfare of the suffering people before doing something about the crisis. To ensure them the maximum safety develop incident response flowcharts or checklists, evacuation guidelines and procedures, list of relocation sites, etc. After assuring safety to each and everyone, you can now start measuring the damage and restoring procedures of your business.
  • Crisis management – decide the information flow to media, stakeholders, staff, etc. Agree on the communication protocols, determine managing the loss event, and make sure you have enough resources to support the recovery. Prepare yourself for the possible media interest. If required, consider appointing a spokesperson for any media queries, being clear and transparent by communicating with staff, customers, and suppliers before the media.
  • Business recovery – Inform BIA’s detailed operational plans for critical functions and assets. To restore essential operations, identify the resources and the personnel you may need help from. Make sure all of you agree on the followable strategies and responses to reduce the loss of business. Make a plan that’s clear enough to get through everybody, and they can start taking actions immediately in emergencies. You can also try training them beforehand to deal better with such a situation. This will build a reflex in them with their assigned task.
  • Key contacts – create a list for both the internal and external people and organizations to reach them instantly for help. Also, assign them with roles you need them for during the crisis. Such as details of key staff, critical suppliers, local councils, neighboring businesses, police, utility providers, landlords, or insurers. Including details of service providers like glaziers, locksmiths, plumber, electricians, and IT specialists will also help. Don’t forget to include maps of your business premises’ layout as it’ll help the emergency services to start taking actions faster.

However, despite these plans, you need to consider the fact that there could be different disruptive situations that call for a different response. That’s why you need to keep several alternatives to address different disaster scenarios, whether it’s the worst-case events or the partial outages.

Business continuity plan templates and tools

You have two options to start your business continuity plan with. Go from scratch or get some help from online templates. To find your best suit, you might need to customize the plan according to your business needs.

You can get some help from GOV.UK’s business continuity management toolkit (PDF, 569K) [8] and get yourself a tailored plan according to particular circumstances of your business

You can run into a lot of technological incidents during a crisis. To recover your business from the damage, you need a disaster recovery plan. This plan will help you restore the destroyed data and applications due to the data center, servers, or IT infrastructure damage.

Use the disaster recovery plan besides the business continuity plan to get the necessary strategies to handle the risk.

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning - BCP and DRP

Continuity planning relates very closely to business insurance. You’ll find that most of the insurers consider business continuity to be a prerequisite for providing cover. To get more details, check out business insurance .

Business continuity plans must be working documents which has to be written, updated, and tested daily to check the performance. Regular testing of your business continuity plan will provide an indication of performance during emergencies.

For effective testing, you should test it against something more plausible than hypothetical scenarios. Doing this will also help you figure out and fix some things before the test, like:

  • agreeing on clear testing criteria and procedures
  • agreeing on the procedures of documenting the findings
  • determining the process of correcting problems that arose during the test

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning

Why should you test your business continuity plan?

To understand and verify that your plan is useful and fulfilling its purpose, you must run a thorough and careful. Doing this, you’ll be able to:

  • properly train your staff involved in the recovery of the business
  • figure out which part of your plan needs more strength
  • demonstrate your company’s recovering ability

You may consider outsourcing certain functions of your business to a third party. If you do, you’ll need to evaluate the adequacy of their business continuity plan and the compatibility with your plan.

How to test business continuity plans

You can run a few tests to estimate the effectiveness of your plan. For example:

  • checklist tests
  • table-top exercises
  • structured walk-throughs
  • scheduled simulations
  • full recovery / interruption tests

Now, besides running these tests, it’s vital that you take care of all the essential details involved in the plan, such as the correct contact information. If there’s something wrong with a phone number, then it can take a considerable chunk out of your precious time to find the right one and eventually resulting in a late response to the crisis.

How often should you test your business continuity plan?

It depends. You’ll see many businesses testing their continuity plan more than two times a year. You need to consider a few factors when concluding how often you should test the plan.

Factors such as the type of your business, turnover of staff, and changes in the procedures and technology used in your business, all need to be taken into account when determining the frequency for testing.

Maintain your business continuity plan

Creating and testing the plan may require a considerable amount of effort and time. But there’s more to it. You must update the plan daily to consider your business’ everchanging circumstances. Take moving into new business premises, for example.

The previous plan might not have anything in common with the new premises, which can be threatening as you face completely new sorts of risks. You’ll have to make a new plan and include a newly drawn map for the emergency services and also amend the contact numbers.

This can help review your business continuity plan annually and completing this review beside testing will ensure the maximum efficiency of the plan.

To understand the accuracy and efficiency of how your business continuity plans and procedures align with the best methods out there, you should measure them against and international standard.

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning

The standard defines the requirements for a management system to protect against, reduce the risks, and ensure the recovery from the crisis.

Find out more about the ISO 22301 business continuity management standard .

  • Understanding business continuity and crisis management
  • Business Continuity vs. Disaster Recovery – Understanding the difference
  • Technology Risk
  • How to perform a cybersecurity risk assessment
  • Why all organizations need a data breach response plan
  • Using cloud computing to achieve business continuity

'  data-src=

Lucy has more than 23 years of experience in the technology industry. Specialising in the cloud and telecommunications sectors, Lucy has previously worked in senior management roles within HR & Operations for major national and international organisations such as BT, O2 and more recently, Vodafone. Lucy is currently the Deputy Online Editor at

Ten tips to improve Cyber Security Awareness amongst your employees

Direct vs Organic Traffic: Understanding the Differences and How They Impact Your…

The Pros and Cons of Cloud-Based Accounting Software

Web Hosting 101: What to look for when choosing Website Hosting

Ad Hoc Analysis: Making Sense of Data with Ad Hoc Data Analysis

Network Hardening: Best Practices & Techniques

Everything that you need to know to start your own business. From business ideas to researching the competition.

Practical and real-world advice on how to run your business — from managing employees to keeping the books.

Our best expert advice on how to grow your business — from attracting new customers to keeping existing customers happy and having the capital to do it.

Entrepreneurs and industry leaders share their best advice on how to take your company to the next level.

  • Business Ideas
  • Human Resources
  • Business Financing
  • Growth Studio
  • Ask the Board

Looking for your local chamber?

Interested in partnering with us?

Start » strategy, business continuity : how to make your small business more resilient by planning ahead.

Can your company operate under challenging circumstances? Establish a business continuity plan, so you know the answer is yes.

 Five employees stand in a group in a high-end restaurant. The group's focus is on the woman in the middle of the photo; she holds an electronic tablet and wears a white blouse and dark blue pants. The other employees are dressed in button-up shirts under either aprons or vests. In the background is a set of shelves filled with various wine bottles and a large indoor plant, the leaves of which reach the ceiling.

Business disruption costs your company money. It can result in lost revenues and extra expenses. The worst part is that potential threats can come anytime and anywhere. A natural disaster or sudden illness can leave your company without a leader, supplier, or office space. A business continuity plan (BCP) ensures your organization can function during a crisis.

In 2020, more than 50% of companies worldwide didn’t have a business continuity plan. While many have since implemented one, others lag behind. Learn what a BCP is, how it benefits your company, and how to start.

What is a business continuity plan, and who needs one?

A business continuity plan is a written document that outlines the steps your organization takes during an emergency. On a basic level, your BCP explains who handles essential business operations and highlights time-sensitive tasks. You assign each person a role and describe operational processes so that you can fill empty positions with another team member or new employee as needed. It should be updated regularly and accessible to all staff in digital and paper forms.

All companies benefit from having a business continuity plan, even solo entities. After all, if you are a solopreneur, who will communicate with your clients if you can’t? Also, corporations in some industries must create a BCP. For instance, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) requires member firms to keep plans according to Rule 4370 .

[ Read more: 5 Types of Organizational Structures for Small Business ]

Core components of business continuity plans

Although business continuity plans vary according to industry and company size, most include similar sections. A solopreneur without employees will have a less extensive guide than an entrepreneur with multiple locations and a large staff.

Your business continuity plan may include the following:

  • A list of roles and responsibilities.
  • Communication protocols for staff, vendors, and customers.
  • An outline of critical functions like payroll and revenue operations.
  • Your strategy for assessing risks, testing your plan, and updating it.

Assessing threats and having an actionable plan gives your company a competitive edge.

Business continuity vs. disaster recovery

A disaster recovery plan (DRP) helps your company move forward after an incident. It’s focused on returning to business as normal. In contrast, a business continuity plan prioritizes keeping your store open and running regardless of the circumstances. A DRP is often part of a more extensive business continuity plan; alternatively, it can be a stand-alone document. The key to creating a resilient business is having both strategies in place.

[ Read more: How to Write an Emergency Preparedness Plan ]

How small businesses benefit from having a BCP

Assessing threats and having an actionable plan gives your company a competitive edge. It ensures that you’re prepared to handle anything that comes your way while reassuring your customers, employees, and suppliers that your business will remain open during trying times.

Here are a few ways business continuity planning benefits your company:

  • Increases organizational awareness: Going through the planning process can alert you to insurance issues, unknown risks, or supply chain concerns . It also encourages your staff to take their roles seriously and understand what’s expected of them.
  • Reduces financial risks: Having strategies to resolve employee, supply chain, or location problems can decrease downtime, allowing you to continue to generate revenue during an emergency.
  • Prevents customer dissatisfaction: Communication issues and business disruption can lead to clients turning to your competitors. Remaining operational means you can fully support customers in their time of need.
  • Improves employee relations: Instability can lower worker retention rates. A BCP shows your staff how and when you will communicate during a crisis. Also, you can engage them during the process to demonstrate their importance to your small business.

Getting started: BCP tips and resources provides top-notch resources to help you throughout the business continuity planning process. Along with guides and templates, you can view training and testing information or learn how to complete a risk assessment.

Check out free business continuity plan templates from the following agencies:

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here .

benefits of business continuity planning

Subscribe to our newsletter, Midnight Oil

Expert business advice, news, and trends, delivered weekly

By signing up you agree to the CO— Privacy Policy. You can opt out anytime.

For more business strategies

How startups contribute to innovation in emerging industries, how entrepreneurs can find a business mentor, 5 business metrics you should analyze every year.

By continuing on our website, you agree to our use of cookies for statistical and personalisation purposes. Know More

Welcome to CO—

Designed for business owners, CO— is a site that connects like minds and delivers actionable insights for next-level growth.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce 1615 H Street, NW Washington, DC 20062

Social links

Looking for local chamber, stay in touch.

benefits of business continuity planning

  • Agribusiness Construction Dealerships Distribution Education Financial Institutions Financial Services Fintech Governments Healthcare Hospitality Accommodations Insurance Manufacturing Nonprofits Private Equity Real Estate Technology Tribal Gaming and Government
  • Assurance Accounting services Audit and assurance Organizational performance Operations People Strategy Outsourcing Finance and accounting Human resources Technology Operations C-suite Private client services Estate and tax planning Business transition strategy Wealth management and investment advisory services Risk advisory ESG services Forensic advisory Fraud investigation and litigation support Governance risk and controls Internal controls Operational risk Regulatory and compliance Technology Tax Credits and incentives Individual tax International tax State and local tax services Transaction advisory Buy-side Sell-side Investment banking Valuation services Wipfli Digital Custom software & apps Cybersecurity Data & analytics Digital strategy E-commerce Enterprise solutions Managed services
  • Business Intelligence Microsoft Power BI Planful Qlik Snowflake CRM Microsoft D365 Salesforce ERP business software Complete Solution for Job Shops and Contract Manufacturers Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation Microsoft Dynamics GP Oracle NetSuite Sage Intacct Financial solutions Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Microsoft Dynamics GP Microsoft Dynamics SL Oracle NetSuite Procore QuickBooks Sage Intacct Technology management Microsoft Azure Microsoft Office 365 Wipfli Marketplace Wipfli Connect Industry CRM Solutions Wipfli Connect for Banking Wipfli Connect for Contractors Wipfli Connect for Manufacturing Wipfli Connect for Nonprofits Wipfli Connect for Real Estate Integrated Products for Sage Intacct AssetEdge CFO Connect for Sage Intacct Concur Connectors for Sage Intacct EMRConnect for Sage Intacct HCMConnect LM-2 on Sage Intacct PositivePay for Sage Intacct Integrate invoice processing & AP automation with Concur Connectors Connectors for Dynamics 365 Business Central Connectors for Dynamics GP Connectors for Dynamics SL Connectors for Finance and Operations Connectors for NetSuite Connectors for Sage Intacct
  • About us Awards and accolades Community involvement Corporate development Diversity, equity and inclusion Leadership Team Living our values Locations Logo and trademark Media Center Partners, principals and associates Success stories The Wipfli Foundation The Wipfli Way Window into Wipfli Wipfli Annual Report
  • All openings Careers at Wipfli Diversity, equity and inclusion Experienced professionals How we invest in your growth Student opportunities

5 benefits of having a business continuity and disaster recovery plan

By Fritz Coyro

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything in the last year, it’s to expect and prepare for the unexpected. 

Organizations without a business continuity (BC) or disaster recovery (DR) plan struggled across the board to redefine how to do business — losing revenue along the way. But organizations that had BC and DR plans — and tested them regularly — made the transition with ease and discovered a new way of doing business. 

How does a business continuity and disaster recovery plan help organizations?

Even in a normal business climate, there are many benefits to implementing a BC/DR plan:

  • Develop muscle memory:  Practicing a disaster scenario via tabletop or with a real exercise develops a kind of “muscle memory” when a situation really does happen. When (not if) an incident does happen, hours and days are shaved off the recovery process. The last thing you want to do in a chaotic time is not have a plan.
  • Meet customer requirements:  Many security frameworks, vendor agreements and customers are requiring organizations to have defined, documented and tested plans in place in the case of a disaster.
  • Meet insurance requirements:  Insurance providers of cyber insurance have started requiring their policy holders to have plans in place before writing a policy. This is becoming standard practice and is increasingly seen as a requirement as opposed to a nice to have.
  • Build resiliency:  No one can plan for everything, but creating and implementing a plan (and practicing with it) can give you the blueprint for surviving one of many threats, from a cyberattack to a natural disaster.
  • Cut down on your recovery time:  When your business is down, it’s not just the revenue loss that affects you. It’s also the hours of employee downtime, additional time spent getting back up and overall impact to your brand reputation. A BC/DR plan can be the difference between losing a few hours of employee salary versus losing a week of it. Sometimes it’s next to impossible to build back the brand image, which can do irreparable damage to the way customers view your business.

The range of challenges that a BC/DR plan can help you overcome is wider than you might think. For example, one of our clients experienced power and communications outages due to a nearby plant, but their BC/DR plans allowed them to switch to alternate processes and keep on running.

What makes up an effective business continuity plan or disaster recovery plan?

Creating a successful BC/DR plan starts with prioritization.

  • By performing a business impact analysis on your applications, you can highlight which are most important to your business environment. For example, if you’re an online retailer, your website and order entry application are going to be tier one in importance to business continuity. 
  • Once you know which business processes and applications are most important and have prioritized them into tiers, step two is determining what is an acceptable amount of time for those applications to be down in the event of a disaster. Since the quicker you want to recover, the more money you’ll spend doing so, you’ll want to focus on getting tier one applications back up and running. A BC/DR plan can define your acceptable timeline, as well as how long you can wait on tier 2 and other applications.
  • After that, you can begin looking at your recovery options, such as which pieces of technology you may need to enable a faster recovery. Cloud-based technology was critical to enabling organizations to quickly transition to remote work during the pandemic, so organizations that had transitioned off of on-premises technology because their BC/DR plans had identified this potential challenge were already one step ahead. 
  • The final piece is often overlooked but no less important. Enabling business continuity or a fast and effective recovery requires periodic testing and keeping documentation up to date. We recommend testing quarterly or annually to help ensure your plan will actually work as designed. And since your business environment is going to change after you’ve created your BC/DR plans, making necessary updates and keeping documents up to date is just as critical.

How Wipfli can help

Wipfli’s business continuity specialists can help you create effective business continuity and disaster recovery plans — from performing a business impact analysis, to helping you develop your plan, to performing testing.  Click here to learn more .

Sign up  to receive additional content and information in your inbox, including our WipfliSecurity Weekly email detailing the most critical cybersecurity threats, vulnerabilities, patches and updates.

Related content:

What are RTOs and RPOs in business continuity planning Concerned about disasters or ransomware? Practice! Fraud and cybercrimes exploding during COVID-19 Take remote work to the next level

Derek Mueller

Article Download

Please register, contact information.

* = required fields

First Name *

Last Name *

Phone number *

benefits of business continuity planning

7 Benefits of Working with a Business Continuity Consultant

D id you know that 90% of small businesses fail within a year unless they can continue operations within five days after a disaster? Businesses without a disaster recovery plan in place will likely never re-open their doors.

If you don’t have a solid business continuity plan, this could be your fate. To avoid this problem and resume operations as normal during an emergency, hire a business continuity consultant.

Keep reading to learn the seven benefits of working with these professionals.

1. Regulatory Compliance

A business continuity consultant will help you meet regulatory requirements. Regulatory requirements are costly if you breach them.

Legislations are continuing to grow to support business mitigation strategies. Additionally, governance regulations emphasize reasonable care in the face of potential business risks.

There are many potential cyber-attacks and risks businesses should be aware of. When you are equipped to respond to these attacks, you protect more data.

Regulatory compliance compels businesses to prioritize cybersecurity and business continuity strategies. This can protect assets and your reputation as well.

Making risk assessments a habit can help your business stay clued up on the rules.

Keep in mind that even as cyberattacks become more sophisticated, insurance doesn’t protect your data. Insurance usually isn’t enough to cover all of the damages that come from a disaster.

2. Valuable Business Data

Business continuity plans generate a wealth of data to help you understand business operations. Some of the data you can collect includes:

  • Critical tasks
  • Recovery time objectives
  • Financial impact of disruptions

This data will help you prepare and recover from unexpected events. Your business will be equipped to navigate any challenge thrown your way.

Data is a valuable asset that can be used in various ways. When you analyze the data, you can make informed decisions that help drive your business toward long-term success.

Additionally, this valuable business data is more than you can get with backups. Most companies have a form of data backup, but this does no good if you don’t have access to it.

How can you access data in the event of an outage? If your business continuity plan leverages cloud technology and virtual servers, your business can run critical applications in the cloud. This also helps keep downtime to a minimum.

3. Minimize Downtime

Business continuity planning is a great investment because it can minimize downtime during a disruption.

A business continuing consultant helps you identify potential risks and develop contingency plans. These allow you to respond to an unexpected event and reduce downtime.

Your business can continue to operate during times of crisis. This also helps with maintaining your reputation because it keeps your customers happy.

Reducing downtime saves you a considerable amount of cash. When operations slow, you lose revenue, productivity decreases, and your overall business reputation takes a hit.

To avoid these negative consequences, minimize your downtime through business planning with a continuity consultant.

4. Rise in Trust and Confidence

A business continuity consultant increases trust and confidence in two ways. First, your customers are more trusting of your business. Second, your workforce has more confidence in their training during an emergency.

Your buyers aren’t likely to learn about a disaster until you have no choice but to tell them. They will notice if you are responding quickly to the problem.

Giving your customers a rundown of your protection strategy can help them feel more confident in your work. This can create an invaluable sense of trust.

Employees will also be more confident in their work through better training and effective responses. In the event of a crisis, employees can stay calm knowing how to handle the situation.

Business continuity and disaster recovery planning can be tailored to fit the goals of your business and the needs of your customers.

5. Strengthens Your Brand

Similarly to building trust and confidence, business continuity creates a lasting mark on your brand. People will remember your choices and what they represent to them as customers in the future.

For instance, how you handle production challenges or new communications platforms will say a lot about your business.

Brands survive on consistent values. A business continuity consultant will help you create a plan that ensures you don’t do anything to undermine your reputation.

6. Supply Chain Protection

Suppliers need to know about risks just as your company does. They should be completing assessments to create their own disaster plans as well.

A business continuity consultant will encourage you to talk to your suppliers about disaster planning. Ask suppliers about the protections they can offer your business, such as:

  • Cyber defenses
  • Remote business communications
  • Multiple locations for production

Business continuity management has to work in both directions. You need to understand the potential threats and how they impact day-to-day operations. Share your own business continuity plan with suppliers too.

7. Get Ahead of the Competition

Some companies miss out on business continuity; don’t be one of them. Other businesses may fail to prepare and take stock of resources, agility, skills, and weak spots.

Instead of future-proofing, they look at the present. This will eventually affect how they stay relevant.

You will have a huge advantage over the competitors if you can restore business operations while they are trying to figure things out. Getting your network back up and running quickly will make you stand out as a leader in the industry.

When times change, you’ll race ahead of the competition with a business continuity consultant. Focus on the longer term instead of only worrying about what is happening at the moment.

Work With a Business Continuity Consultant Now

A business continuity consultant will learn about your company and create a business continuity plan tailored to your needs. These plans help business operations and customer relations.

By keeping operations going, you keep employees working and keep your customers happy.

When choosing a business continuity consultant, find one who has experience helping multiple companies develop and implement a successful plan of action. In the event of a disaster, your business will be protected as much as possible.

Are you looking for more business advice? Keep coming back to our blog for regular new posts.

This article is published by NYTech in collaboration with Syndication Cloud.

7 Benefits of Working with a Business Continuity Consultant

More From Forbes

Technology’s role in business continuity: tips for tech leaders.

Forbes Technology Council

  • Share to Facebook
  • Share to Twitter
  • Share to Linkedin

The technology so many of us use for work and daily tasks is often so reliable that it comes as almost a shock when a service or tool isn’t working. But whether due to cyberattacks, natural disasters or something else, downtime is likely to hit every company that builds internal and customer-facing technology, and every such company needs to be ready.

It’s natural and logical for tech leaders and their teams to play a leading role in business continuity planning. Below, 20 members of Forbes Technology Council share tips to help tech leaders foster a culture of preparedness and oversee efforts to leverage all available tools to ensure their organizations remain resilient and adaptable.

1. Develop Comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plans

One way technology leaders and teams can support business continuity efforts is by developing comprehensive disaster recovery plans. By identifying potential risks and developing strategies to mitigate them, such as redundant systems, alternate sites and remote access solutions, organizations can minimize downtime and maintain essential operations even in adverse circumstances. - Mohit Gupta , Damco Solutions

2. Take A Holistic View Of People And Processes

Collaboration is key to the success of business continuity. Tech leaders sometimes tend to focus on disaster recovery from a tech perspective, but collaborating with the business—especially the operational risk team—to obtain a holistic view of not just the technology perspective, but also the people and processes perspective, will ensure effective business continuity processes are in place. - Adeoluwa Akomolafe , Wema Bank

Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives. Do I qualify?

When Does Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2 Come Out On Netflix See The Release Schedule

The best self cleaning litter boxes tested for months, north carolina legislators want to ban masks, even for health reasons, 3. consider modern attack trends.

Technology leaders should prioritize a mature security program that considers modern trends of attackers. Adopting mature solutions and combining them with innovative approaches adds an extra layer of advantage to the “trust the known” paradigm. It’s a classic example of the Pareto principle to continuously improve your overall posture and enable your technical teams to move faster. - Aviv Mussinger , Kodem

4. Be Aware Of Advancements That Expand Basic Compliance

I do see that disaster recovery and incident response plans can be important, but I also see that technological advancements, such as threat modeling and risk assessment, have taken basic compliance to a new level. Cyber resilience, effective communication with stakeholders, shared responsibility and continuous learning will contribute to an organization’s overall business continuity posture. - Dan Sorensen , Air National Guard

5. Take A Lead Role In BIA Processes

Technology leaders and teams play a critical role in periodic business impact analysis processes, building competent enterprise architecture models, and ensuring all new planned systems adhere to technology resilience standards. It’s also important to regularly conduct tests and exercises with gap analyses of recovery requirements against actual achievable recovery plans. - Kim Bozzella , Protiviti

6. Identify Critical Datasets

Insight into the data is key! First, tech leaders must convene with data owners to determine which datasets are more critical and which are less so. Then, they must leverage data management solutions that provide key insights into stored data. Priorities can then be set, and the most efficient, cost-effective and flexible options for providing continuity services can be enacted. - Carl D’Halluin , Datadobi

7. Ensure Critical Systems Are Secure And Backed Up

To support business continuity, technology leaders and teams should ensure critical systems and data are secure and regularly backed up and can be quickly restored during disruptions. They should implement reliable and secure remote access solutions, allowing employees to work from anywhere. Close collaboration with other departments helps align IT strategies with overall business continuity plans. - Murali Murugan , Macy’s Inc.

8. Get Involved Immediately When There’s A Crisis

It’s essential for tech leaders to raise their hands and jump in when there is a need, especially during a crisis that causes a business continuity event, such as ransomware. Often, technology leaders are already overwhelmed and understaffed, but every event that triggers a business continuity concern is different, and the company really needs everyone who can help to be involved. - Caroline McCaffery , ClearOPS

9. Invest In Digital Twins And Edge Computing

Technology leaders can boost business continuity by investing in AI-powered digital twins and edge computing. Digital twins enable real-time simulation and scenario analysis for operational resilience. Edge computing complements this by processing data locally, reducing latency and downtime. Together, these technologies help firms predict disruptions and respond swiftly, ensuring smooth operations. - Jabin Geevarghese George , Tata Consultancy Services

10. Implement Cloud-Based Technologies

Technology leaders can champion business continuity by advocating for and implementing cloud-based technologies to address such things as accessibility, scalability and disaster recovery. AI is another powerful tool tech leaders can leverage to strengthen business continuity efforts because it can quickly carry out risk assessment and prediction, increase efficiency and improve accuracy. - Justin Newell , INFORM North America

11. Embrace Disruptions

Prepare your IT strategy to embrace disruptions. A comprehensive global emergency operating plan can provide the tools needed for continuity. Leaders should strategize to establish resilient processes, maintain backups and ensure overlapping expertise for a robust business framework. Balancing technology and reliability will support a contingency plan that secures systems and ensures uptime. - Eric Helmer , Rimini Street

12. Track Informative Metrics To Show Value

Visibility and execution are key to supporting business continuity. Having monthly and yearly metrics based on service-level agreements for system downtimes, understanding the cost impact of downtime, and implementing strategies to address business continuity will go a long way toward gaining business buy-in and successfully executing tactics to ensure long-term business continuity. Showing the business value of the strategies you execute is key. - Buyan Thyagarajan , Eigen X

13. Create A Robust Knowledge-Sharing Culture

It’s about prioritizing the seamless transfer of knowledge as part of a positive learning culture. As employees advance, new team members should be ready to step in. Hard skills are important, but there should also be a focus on cultural and institutional knowledge and how things are orchestrated. That’s where robust frameworks for knowledge-sharing can really shine, putting the focus on people. - Ramesh Ramani , ExpertusONE

14. Focus On Third-Party Dependencies

It’s critical to focus on third-party dependencies. Most companies do a decent job of managing their resilience, but until recently, there hasn’t been an effective way to monitor and manage third-party vendor impact. In our dynamic, connected digital environments, assessing the resilience of third parties is just as important as looking internally for areas of risk when managing business continuity efforts. - Jeffrey Wheatman , Black Kite

15. Strive To Remain Agile And Organized

While implementing robust disaster recovery strategies is a self-evident must, one way tech leaders and teams can contribute to supporting business continuity efforts is by simply being agile and organized. Companies should conduct comprehensive training and awareness programs to educate employees and ensure that everyone is on the same page and aligned in terms of goals and respective procedures. - Yuriy Gnatyuk , Kindgeek

16. Incorporate Automated Alerts

It’s important to incorporate automated alerts to prepare for severe outages. Pairing the alerts with detailed logging provides relevant information on why outages are happening and provides clues as to how to prevent them in the future. - Syed Ahmed , Act-On Software

17. Balance Security And Productivity Through Strong Identity Governance

Tech leaders and teams can support business continuity by creating a balance between security and productivity. This starts with a strong identity governance program, ensuring people have access to what they need to get their jobs done—no more, no less. Access and permissions should evolve seamlessly throughout the employee life cycle so work contributions and security aren’t mutually exclusive. - John Milburn , Clear Skye

18. Focus On Continuous Evaluation And Innovation

Technology leaders and teams can support business continuity by focusing on continuous evaluation and innovation, ensuring technology aligns with evolving business outcomes. Regularly assessing tech infrastructure and processes enables agile responses to changes, maintaining operations and driving growth even in challenging times. - Jo Debecker , Wipro

19. Put A Data Protection, Backup And Recovery Strategy In Place

Businesses rely on data, and the state of data is continuously changing. It is important for technology leaders to have a data protection, backup and recovery strategy to quickly restore the business to a point in time before the failure. To achieve a zero stopgap state, you could also point applications to the backup and just expose read-only or critical features until everything is restored. - Murali Kushal Sha

20. Establish A Genuine Partnership Between The IT Team And The Business

Establishing a genuine IT-business partnership facilitates a better understanding of organizational needs, which aids in disaster recovery planning. By aligning technology initiatives with business goals, teams can develop tailored strategies, ensuring that IT solutions, including robust disaster recovery measures, contribute effectively to business continuity and success. - Geetha Kommepalli , Skillsoft

Expert Panel®

  • Editorial Standards
  • Reprints & Permissions


  1. What is a business continuity plan (BCP) and Why is it so important for

    benefits of business continuity planning

  2. Benefits of Business Continuity Plan You Definitely Want for Business

    benefits of business continuity planning

  3. Business Continuity Management

    benefits of business continuity planning

  4. What is the primary goal of business continuity planning, and how to

    benefits of business continuity planning

  5. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

    benefits of business continuity planning

  6. Benefits of Business Continuity Planning

    benefits of business continuity planning


  1. Business Continuity Planning

  2. Business Continuity Planning BCP


  4. Business Continuity Awareness: Why it's Important

  5. What would happen to your business, employees, or customers if the business owner was removed?

  6. Designing the Perfect Business Continuity Training Exercise


  1. Business Continuity Plan Advantages

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is part of a business continuity management system (BCMS), and includes the procedures an organization must follow in an emergency. The document also contains steps for recovery in the days and months after the incident. One part of a BCP is the disaster recovery plan, which contains plans for IT and technical continuity.

  2. What Is a Business Continuity Plan (BCP), and How Does It Work?

    Business Continuity Planning - BCP: The business continuity planning (BCP) is the creation of a strategy through the recognition of threats and risks facing a company, with an eye to ensure that ...

  3. What Is Business Continuity?

    Business continuity refers to the plans, technologies, and processes an organization puts in place so it can maintain critical functions in the event of a disruption or disaster, whether planned or unplanned. A business continuity plan (BCP) has four main components. Scenario planning involves identifying potential threats and assessing the ...

  4. Business Continuity Planning: Why You Need It and Why It Is So Important

    The benefits of such foresight extend far beyond mitigating risk; they empower your business to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable world. ... The business continuity plan usually falls under the responsibility of a dedicated role or department, often led by a Business Continuity Manager, who reports to senior leadership. This individual or ...

  5. What Is A Business Continuity Plan? [+ Template & Examples]

    1. Operational. Operational continuity means that the systems and processes your business relies on are able to continue functioning without disruption. As these processes are critical to business operations, it's important to have a plan in place in case disruption occurs so you can minimize the loss of revenue. 2.

  6. What Is Business Continuity? How to Plan for an Emergency

    Business continuity planning (BCP) ... Benefits of business continuity. Unexpected events can derail an organization at any time. Whether the incident is a natural disaster or an accident, a purposeful setback, or an attack, the impact on your company can be severe. If you don't plan for such an emergency, the consequences can be much more ...

  7. Business continuity plan advantages and disadvantages for 2021

    The benefits of developing a business continuity plan are numerous. A BCP can help to: Ensure your business can keep trading during and after an incident. Restart operations swiftly following disruption. Minimize the cost of tackling business interruption. Shorten the period of disruption.

  8. What Is Business Continuity?

    A business continuity strategy is a summary of the mitigation, crisis, and recovery plans to be implemented after a disruption to resume normal operations. "Business continuity strategy" is often used interchangeably with "business continuity plan." Both consider the broader goals, legal and regulatory requirements, personnel, and even the ...

  9. Benefits of Business Continuity Plan

    The benefits of a Business Continuity Plan. The key to a successful, long-term business is not only to ability to serve your market and retain customers, but also the ability to withstand the unexpected that could knock your success off-course. While COVID-19 is at the forefront of our minds these days, it is worth considering that this is one ...

  10. Business continuity plan (BCP) in 8 steps, with templates

    Step 1: Establish an emergency preparedness team. Assign a team the responsibility for emergency preparedness. Select a few managers or an existing committee to take charge of the project. It's advisable to assign one person to lead the planning process.

  11. Business Continuity Strategy Guide [+Free Checklist]

    Business continuity planning is not a nice-to-have but a necessity in today's unpredictable world. Whether it's a natural disaster, cybersecurity breach, or other unforeseen emergency, the ability to respond effectively can make or break a business. As industry leaders and best practices highlight, adopting a structured approach like the ...

  12. Business continuity: PwC

    The benefits of establishing a business continuity strategy include: Resilience: With greater awareness of what really matters during a crisis, you can focus resources effectively. Employee engagement and ownership: Your people understand their roles and responsibilities in a crisis, and are invested in executing a seamless recovery .

  13. Importance and Purpose of a Business Continuity Plan

    A business continuity plan gives an organization the ability to maintain essential processes before, during, and after a disaster. Business continuity differs from disaster recovery in its holistic approach to the business. Business continuity reflects a business-wide implementation plan to ensure the continuation of critical business functions ...

  14. What is business continuity and why is it important?

    Business continuity plans should be adaptable. One method of instituting a business continuity plan is to perform a risk assessment of an organization's processes and then build a response plan for each instance of a risk. This can help the organization identify potential risks to the business and prepare for unexpected challenges, ensuring it's adaptable in the event of a disaster.

  15. Key Benefits of Business Continuity Planning

    Facilitate Decision-Making. During a crisis, swift and informed decisions are crucial. Business continuity planning offers a structured framework that guides decision-making processes. This ensures that businesses can act proactively, rather than only reacting to events, leading to more effective crisis management. 5.

  16. What is the primary goal of business continuity planning, and how to

    Key benefits of business continuity planning. While we're at it, let's see how business continuity planning can help you: keeps your business trading during and after a crisis; recovers operations more quickly after interruptions; reduces expenses and duration of any disruption; reduces risks and financial exposure

  17. Benefits of Business Continuity Planning [+ Overview, Implementation

    By implementing business continuity planning, businesses can safeguard their operations and preserve resources while potentially preventing significant financial loss. But, if you're unsure of whether or not your business is ready to start creating these plans, let's take a closer look at the various benefits of business continuity planning.

  18. Taking A New Look At Business Continuity Planning

    Maintaining business continuity depends upon fostering resiliency, and resiliency comes from adopting new technologies, new skills, and a new mindset. This means decompartmentalizing risk and ...

  19. PDF The Definitive Guide to Business Continuity Planning

    Welcome to the Definitive Guide to Business Continuity Planning—the. indispensable resource for developing your business continuity plan. This handbook can be used to guide you in developing a BC plan from start to finish, or as a tool to test and improve your existing plan, or for anything in between.

  20. 5 Step Guide to Business Continuity Planning (BCP) in 2021

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is defined as a protocol of preventing and recovering from potentially large threats to the company's business continuity. This article explains what a business continuity plan is today, its key benefits, and a step-by-step guide to creating a formidable plan. Table of Contents

  21. Business Continuity: Small Business Planning and Considerations

    A business continuity plan (BCP) ensures your organization can function during a crisis. In 2020, more than 50% of companies worldwide didn't have a business continuity plan. While many have since implemented one, others lag behind. Learn what a BCP is, how it benefits your company, and how to start.

  22. The benefits of business continuity and disaster recovery

    How does a business continuity and disaster recovery plan help organizations? Even in a normal business climate, there are many benefits to implementing a BC/DR plan: Develop muscle memory: Practicing a disaster scenario via tabletop or with a real exercise develops a kind of "muscle memory" when a situation really does happen. When (not if ...

  23. Advantages of business continuity planning

    Key benefits of business continuity planning. Business continuity planning can help you: keep your business trading during and after an incident. recover operations more quickly after interruptions. reduce costs and duration of any disruption. mitigate risks and financial exposure. build customer confidence and trust. safeguard company reputation.

  24. Top Features of Business Continuity Planning Tools

    A business continuity planning tool must have robust reporting capabilities to monitor the effectiveness of your plans. It should be able to generate reports that track the status of recovery ...

  25. 7 Benefits of Working with a Business Continuity Consultant

    Business continuity planning is a great investment because it can minimize downtime during a disruption. A business continuing consultant helps you identify potential risks and develop contingency ...

  26. Technology's Role In Business Continuity: Tips For Tech Leaders

    2. Take A Holistic View Of People And Processes. Collaboration is key to the success of business continuity. Tech leaders sometimes tend to focus on disaster recovery from a tech perspective, but ...

  27. 5G Loss Prevention: Systems & Solutions

    No industry is immune from theft, fraud, or damage. The global market for video analytics is expected to mushroom from $6.35 billion in 2022 to $28.4 billion by 2029, driven in part by a need to prevent losses. 5 With 5G-connected cameras providing automated, always-on monitoring, your business can protect not only its physical assets, but also ...