What are Business Continuity Best Practices?

R. Kimball
R. Kimball
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Businessman giving a thumbs-up

Business continuity best practices are techniques, methods, or processes believed to be most effective at restoring business operations after a disaster or other business interruption. These practices are developed so that the right steps may be followed to deliver business continuity with minimal problems or complications. Business continuity best practices should be developed to be efficient and effective repeatable procedures to accomplish a set task.

A business continuity plan incorporating the business continuity best practices should be developed before there is a business interruption. The organization must anticipate trouble and develop the best practices for resolving such types of problems in advance. Each business and location might have a separate business continuity plan due to the unique set of issues by location. As the business and its locations change, the business continuity plan should change with it.

Business continuity best practices should focus on the people and processes that drive the specific enterprise. Operations of a business generally are the first areas to restore after a disaster. The planning and disaster recovery for these areas should be developed prior to a disaster so that each employee is specifically trained in how to execute the business continuity plan in order to restore business operations.

It is imperative that an organization’s staff be properly trained to execute the best practices in a disaster recovery situation. Proper training and staff execution reduce downtime and provide better performance by providing the right support at the appropriate time following a business interruption. Employees are key in each of the business continuity best practices because technology and other types of automation require staff to restore them to normal operation.

Best practices clearly define the process for declaring a business interruption event. This is important so that staff knows when to set the business continuity plan in motion. The practices should allocate resources based upon priority and availability for the organization. The organization should also take into consideration key vendors and the interaction these vendors will have in a recovery situation.

An organization’s technology is a large part of any business continuity plan, and each level of technology should have its own part in the best practices definition. Proper description of each level of technology will help reduce issues and downtime in a recovery event. An organization should monitor the processes and people within it to confirm which areas and associated technology are critical in the recovery process. Certain key areas may not be able to be restored until another area has first come back into operation. Each of these dependencies should be defined in a business continuity plan.

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