An organization's outline to keep functioning in the case of an unexpected disaster.
Continuity Program Details
A continuity program is a plan that is to be executed in times of sudden collapse and unexpected incidents. Its program is built and designed to keep business running and functioning at the minimum capacity. Essentially, a business continuity program is a method of preparedness to ensure that vital parts of a company can still operate during and after a disaster as quickly as possible.
A continuity program aims to be the part of a business called the core or the main engine. The fragment of a business is necessary to execute its purpose and is indispensable over everything else. A continuity plan isn't something as simple as a reboot button but an extensive and detailed scheme in multiple abnormal scenarios. For example, its contents can include preparedness against floods, fires, earthquakes, and even terrorist attacks. Depending on where the business in question is, some disasters are prioritized and planned for more.
These plans are most usually created under the direction of the NFPA 1600 Standard and focus on three main functions of the business. First and foremost, a continuity plan starts by identifying potential threats to the business through risk assessments and looking at previous accidents in their respective areas. After doing so, the phase of strategizing and planning begins. What the planning has to answer is: How can we recover quickly and efficiently from this disaster? What is it about the business that needs prioritization above everything else to get back on its feet?
Real-World Example of a Continuity Program
An example of a continuity program in action would be Cantey Technology and IT offices located in South Carolina. In 2013, lightning struck its offices which lead to a massive fire. The fire destroyed the network connections, most cables were burned and melted, and almost all hardware and equipment were rendered useless. This situation, especially for an IT company, looks bleak and lethal. But thanks to a well-executed continuity program, Cantey Technology clients didn't even notice that such a massive loss had ever occurred.
Their continuity plan was based on the importance of their client's servers and data. They had already copied and moved the data to a different data center in a different location. Backing up their client's data became routine for this company thanks to the implemented continuity program. Even though the company was in a dire state and forced to move into temporary offices where the equipment was substandard to their usual, they could continue business as usual.
Five years before this particular incident, Cantey Technology implemented this specific continuity program and made it a routine to save a backup of all data. If it weren't for a precaution taken five years before, Cantey Technology probably wouldn't even be in business today.
Significance of a Continuity Program
Without a business continuity program, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that some business would meet their end unexpectedly. Although to some, it might seem too paranoid to plan so extensively for events that will probably never happen, one shouldn't underestimate just how hard an accident can hit a business.
A continuity plan is essential for those businesses that don't have many branches that depend heavily on their operations base. Unfortunately, no matter how many security precautions are in place, there is no guarantee that a base of operations is completely safe from disaster or accidents. For this very reason, a continuity program is more than just a guide in the case of an accident, but more a solid replacement for a business's core.