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Business Continuity Planning (BCP, also known as contingency planning, disaster recovery, or crisis management) is the process of planning, preparing, implementing, and testing an organisation's capability to sustain critical business functions when normal operations have been unexpectedly disrupted. Business continuity planning involves the development and implementation of emergency response procedures designed to maintain the continuity of critical business functions along with the timely recovery of disrupted services.


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The stage

In the business world risk is ubiquitous, and crises can arise unexpectedly from many quarters i.e., from the failure of critical equipment, computer viruses, exchange rate fluctuations, loss through fire, water damage, terrorism, pandemics, chemical spills, through to extreme natural disasters. Risk is a "wild card" that can be dealt at any time and which may either partially or completely disrupt an organisation's operations and services. For this reason business continuity plans need to be well designed, encompass all of an organisation's critical functions, and be updated frequently. Given the lessons of September 11, Mississippi disasters and the current bird flu threat businesses are being forced through necessity to look hard at the issue of BCP.

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