Business Continuity Management is both a process and a discipline. It exists to avoid any interruptions that could lead to either significant losses or a failure to achieve the organisations principle objectives.
Business Continuity as a Process
The process or Business Continuity Life Cycle describes how any organisation should go about Business Continuity i.e. ensuring that critical activities are performed no matter what else is happening.
The process is cyclical, and follows the same basic steps as most processes of continuous improvement.
The process first understands what constitutes a critical process, then plans how this will be maintained, then designs and delivers supporting solutions, then tests it all, until ultimately it keeps it all maintained and repeats itself ad-infinitum.
Business Continuity as a Discipline
The discipline is the collection of people and teams in your organisation that are responsible for the various steps that make up the Business Continuity life cycle. Business Continuity is also responsible for monitoring incidents so that in the event of a business interruption, the plans to ensure Business Continuity get invoked as quickly as possible.
Typically, this includes:
- Business Continuity Planners – identify what is critical and decide how it can be continued through an interruption.
- IT Service Continuity –are responsible for making sure the critical IT services are available to support critical business activities.
- Crisis Management –are responsible for monitoring the business for potential interruption events and then making sure that timely action is taken, which would normally involve invoking the Business Continuity Plans and Recovering any required IT Services.