What is business continuity?
Business continuity is a theory that allows an organization to stand the test of time, it is an idea that will help an organization get over disasters and maintain healthy business functioning over an extended period of time.
Business continuity is everything that an organization can do to ensure that critical business functions are available to its customer and also to itself during a time of crisis.
Business Continuity Planning (BCP) or Business Continuity and Resiliency Planning (BCRP)
It is a set of procedures that an organization follows in the time of crisis. The crisis could be anything ranging from a cyber attack or database outage to fire damage and earthquakes.
BCP aims to find potential threat scenarios and arrange them in the order of criticality. It then lays down certain methods or game plan that helps the organization to recover from the crisis as soon as it can. Based on certain metrics the criticality of each and every threat scenario is measured and is dealt with accordingly.
Business continuity and Information Technology
Nowadays businesses rely heavily on IT Infrastructure and services to maintain key business functions. They require IT to maintain their company information in databases, give performance reports, make intelligent business decisions through the use of various BI tools, and manage their daily operations.
BCP plays a vital role where businesses require daily performance reports to make critical business decisions. It is also a critical part in the banking domain where one simple fault in the system can cost millions to the company. In these systems business continuity is ensured through various test scenarios emulating critical situations. The companies can conform to an SLA (Service Level Agreement), which means the time period in which the system should be restored after a crisis to ensure that there is no loss for the organization.
Why is BCP important for businesses?
One of the most important aspects of employing BCP for a company is to maintain its key ongoing services to the customer. Without proper customer service a business cannot expect to stand in these competing times. Also, BCP enables an organization to recover from a crisis with minimum damages which is very critical for organizations that operate in high security environments such as banking and security domains. With the increasing threats in planned cyber attacks, BCP has become a widespread practice in protecting national security networks and maintaining their smooth operation.
BCP and the City Of Toronto
Toronto is vulnerable to various hazards, may it be environment disasters, power outage, aircraft and infrastructure disasters. The city has a Business Continuity Plan of its own. The BCP for Toronto enables the city to access and also predict various disaster scenarios and elucidates measures that can be taken to prevent and/or recover from them. It divides the responsibility of each of the emergency groups that will be mobilized in case of an emergency. Since the plan in itself cannot guarantee a successful recovery from disasters it must be coupled with adequate training, personnel availability and ample equipment; threat scenario testing and continuous review.
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