A business continuity plan refers to an organization’s system of procedures to restore critical business functions in the event of unplanned disaster. These disasters could include natural disasters, security breaches, service outages, or other potential threats. Business continuity planning (BCP) enables organizations to resume business operations with minimal downtime, saving them resources in their response to what can often be a serious business interruption.
An optimized business continuity plan encompasses three main components.
First, a company needs to be resilient. That means key business functions are designed within the context of potential disasters. The business continuity team runs a risk assessment against each function for weaknesses and susceptibilities, then establishes protections against them. This supports ongoing risk management policies.
Second, stakeholders prioritize functions and determine which need to be brought online first. Disaster recovery is a key factor, and the faster functions can return to an operational state, the less likely the organization is to sustain lasting damage. IT stakeholders set disaster recovery time goals and develop an actionable disaster recovery plan. After mission-critical functions return to working order, team members work down the list of priority functions, utilizing third-party support to implement recovery strategies as needed.
Third, organizations require a contingency plan with branching paths that describe chains of command, stakeholder responsibilities and any necessary technical knowledge necessary for emergency management within established disaster scenarios. Finally, an optimized business continuity plan includes a recovery time objective (RTO) to establish the speed at which business operations must be recovered, and a business impact analysis to determine how successful recovery efforts were. Likewise, a disaster report shows stakeholders how the disaster recovery planning process can improve in the future.
With these three elements, an organization can weather crises, assess damage quickly and recover as soon as possible. It's also important to understand that a business continuity plan is a living document which must be updated regularly as the organization adopts new technologies and processes. As organizations grow to scale, they adopt new solutions and infrastructures; these must be accounted for in the plan, or disaster recovery challenges could become augmented by unexpected bottlenecks.
Citrix keeps your business running during unplanned downtime.
If people can’t access the applications, data, files and services they depend on, then the business is still down – and losing money, customers, productivity, reputation and opportunities every moment it takes to get them back to work.
Although each business disruption is unique and many decisions will have to be made as situations unfold, a business continuity plan provides a framework and preparation to guide these decisions, as well as a clear indication of who will make them. A successful business continuity plan includes the following elements.
1. Define a team structure
2. Establish a plan
3. Test your business continuity plan
4. Create a crisis communications strategy
5. Educate people on safety procedures
Citrix helps organizations ensure continuity of operations during business disruptions and: