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What Is Business Continuity and Why Is It Important?

Posted by Alfie McDonald on September 6th 2022

Did you know 1 in 5 businesses suffer a disruption each year? Worse, 80% of businesses affected by disasters are forced to close within a month.

If you want to protect your business from damage, implementing policies and procedures for managing and responding to incidents is crucial. So, where do you start? We’ll show you. Get acquainted with business continuity testing and how to implement an effective plan in your company, below.

What is business continuity?

Business continuity planning means implementing procedures so your organisation can continue to operate as close to normal as possible during and after a disaster. These disasters could range from floods or fires to cyber-attacks and network errors.

The purpose of a business continuity plan is to document procedures for responding to incidents. This includes how you’ll manage and contain incidents, and continue operations while services are disrupted. For instance, if a cyber-attack disrupts your network and forces operations offline, you must consider how you’ll continue providing your services.

It’s also important to remember that a business continuity plan shouldn’t be confused with disaster recovery. Although related, disaster recovery is IT-specific and focuses on your systems, unlike business continuity which considers all areas of your company. Regardless, you should plan for both as part of your wider business objectives.

What does business continuity testing include?

A business continuity strategy can be divided into two areas—planning and management.

Business continuity management

You should consider a business continuity plan as a work in progress. Although it’s essential to have a set plan, you must regularly review, test, and update it.

Implementing a business continuity plan is as much about communicating responsibilities, running practice drills, and evaluating procedures, as it is about action plans in crisis. As such, you should arrange for ongoing business continuity management, reviewing and updating policies following a real or practice incident, and when new threats emerge.

What does business continuity testing guard against?

When assessing business continuity risk, you should think about all possible disasters. Doing so ensures you’re prepared, whether a simple network error, data breach, or fire. Some common disasters include:

  • Natural disasters – Incidents like fire and floods can damage your business. In some cases, they may lead to total loss of your premises and contents.
  • Global pandemics – If your business isn’t equipped for remote working, global pandemics can halt operations or even cause you to close completely.
  • Network disruptions – Server downtime or interruptions can force employees offline, unable to access essential data, email inboxes, and other IT software critical for your business.
  • Cyber-attacks – Malicious attacks can disrupt your IT systems and lead to more drastic consequences like data breaches and theft.
  • Human error – Sometimes, disasters are caused by human error, such as downloading malicious software, deleting essential data, or even causing a fire.

Why is business continuity management critical?

Would you know what to do if a hacker accessed your network? What about if your business premises were set on fire? How would you respond? That’s why having a business continuity plan is essential. Should anything go wrong, you’ll already have an action plan for the ‘what if’ incidents, reducing unplanned downtime and subsequent financial and business risks.

Asides from mitigating disruptions business continuity plans have many other benefits:

  • Save money – With plans, less money is spent recovering assets and information. Plus, alternative working arrangements mean you can continue business operations during incidents and avoid further financial risks.
  • Save time – Less time is needed to decide on the action to take during a disaster, since everything is pre-determined. In addition, you can immediately activate your business continuity plans, ensuring incidents are managed quickly and effectively.
  • Identify vulnerabilities – Business continuity plans allow you to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities, so you can take action before incidents occur. For instance, organising cloud backup of data, rather than storing it in an unsecured location.
  • Maintain reputation – Preparing your organisation’s continuity plans helps you maintain your reputation in the event of a disaster, ensuring you can continue to provide customers with the service they expect.
  • Enhance security – Planning for disruptions also means preventing them by encouraging businesses to step up their security practices. For instance, using additional cybersecurity measures to prevent data leaks.
  • Increase efficiencies – A well-communicated business continuity plan can increase operational efficiencies throughout your workforce, encouraging employees to practice high security and be vigilant threats.

Start your business continuity planning

At BCN, we can guide your business through continuity planning from start to finish. Our industry-accredited team will work with you to assess potential threats and impacts, with a fully personalised, effective business continuity plan. Our three-step approach includes:

  • Discover and propose: We work to understand your business, objectives, challenges, and the outcomes you’re looking to achieve. We then develop an ideal solution to help you achieve your goals, defining key metrics and KPIs.


  • Transform and adapt:Your dedicated project manager delivers a roadmap and solutions to achieve your objectives, whether that involves streamlining, implementing, commissioning, configuring, re-configuring, or transforming your technologies, processes, and environment.


  • Manage and evolve:Our team conducts ongoing success and metric tracking, guiding continuous improvements of your plan. Including day-to-day offsite backup checks, that our team responds to from the NOC as part of BCN Group’s proactive ticket process.