What is business continuity?

Business continuity is an organization's ability to maintain mission-critical functionality during and after a disaster. There are myriad disruptions that can cost organizations time, money, and productivity, and business continuity planning helps them prepare for these risks before they happen. Modern organizations have a list of potential disruptions that extend beyond natural disasters. Service outages, security breaches, and industry competition can represent significant threats to business processes.

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What is the main purpose of business continuity?

Business continuity allows organizations to:

  • Enable seamless workforce productivity during any kind of business disruption, whether planned or unplanned
  • Protect and control business information by maintaining IT control in the datacenter
  • Simplify continuity planning and operations using the same everyday infrastructure that supports the organization during routine operations

In the past, organizations would rely on a complex series of physical provisions to maintain operations during disaster scenarios. From an information technology perspective, stakeholders would need to arrange for endpoints such as new desktop computers and networking technologies to maintain a patchwork of systems until normal operations could resume.

Today, cloud computing, redundant systems and strategic planning keep businesses running when the unexpected occurs. Business continuity management has become markedly easier in the 21st century, and building a solid business continuity program is no longer the imposing challenge it once was. Enterprise organizations may be able to keep all of their functionality throughout a crisis, while small or mid-size companies can focus on keeping critical functions active until the crisis passes.

But even in this connected age, risk assessment, risk management, and disaster recovery planning remain critical for ensuring enterprise continuity.

What technologies support business continuity?

Integrated technologies supported by cloud platforms give modern businesses the ability to plan for, react to, and recover from crises, whether they be natural disasters, cyberattacks, or supplier failures. These technologies support full critical business functions and crisis management amid potential threats and run accurate business impact analyses.

Hosted desktops and applications

Virtual desktops are ideal for business continuity as they allow users to access applications using any device—even if a disaster renders the company’s datacenter and offices useless. This remote access helps ensure the business continuity process.

File sync and share

In a disaster, the availability of critical files is essential to continued operations. Cloud-based file sync and share tools give stakeholders the power to access company data from anywhere. Furthermore, policy-based control options and sophisticated security protocols mitigate the risk of data loss or corruption, ensuring information remains in an untarnished state throughout the disaster. In the event of a serious breach, encryption tools and remote wipe options keep sensitive information safe from malicious actors.

Cloud networking

In normal situations, cloud networks give organizations the ability to expand their resources as needs spike. In the event that a disaster strikes the primary data center, disaster solutions can spread virtualized resources across secondary locations, limiting downtime or eliminating service outages completely. These solutions provide reliability and performance throughout the disaster, giving stakeholders the time necessary to maintain business operations.

Unified endpoint management

In the event of a disaster, employees should have the ability to access their apps and files from any location and device. Unified endpoint management allow organizations to securely deliver apps and data to employees regardless of the endpoint, network, or the user’s location.

Content collaboration

Keeping teams connected throughout crises is critical to resiliency and recovery goals, and plays a key role in any robust business continuity strategy. Optimized contingency plans leverage collaboration tools to shift workloads to teams outside of the disaster zone. Importantly, collaboration tools utilize cloud technology to provide near instant access to critical functions to authorized stakeholders, as dictated by the contingency plan.

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Guidelines for maintaining business continuity for your organization

See how a comprehensive business continuity plan allows people to work exactly the same way during an emergency as they would on any other day.

How business continuity helps mitigate risks

In a competitive business environment, disruption can cost organizations significantly. Emergency management tests the mettle of even the most prepared organizations. To ensure teams can stay productive and IT stakeholders can meet recovery time objectives, leaders need to make strategic investments in resilient technologies. Supporting these tools, policies, recovery strategies, and standardized continuity activities empower stakeholders to maintain control and support data backup in even the worst disaster scenarios.

At its core, a business continuity plan provides a strong framework for support when the unexpected occurs. By predicting potential crises and identifying mission critical functions, organizations increase their opportunities for overcoming monumental challenges with ease. A systematic approach ensures everyone understands their roles and has the greatest chance of success.

The three pillars of resilience, recovery, and contingency reinforce organizations, giving them the ability to support internal teams as well as external stakeholders.

Citrix solutions for business continuity

With Citrix solutions for business continuity, you can ensure your users remain productive from any location and device—without sacrificing security. From Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops to fully managed desktop as a service (DaaS) options, you can choose the model the works best for your unique business continuity needs.

Explore the benefits of business continuity with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops