What in the World is BCP?

by Scott Owens, PMP, CBCP on August 1st, 2011

Business Continuity Planning involves the analysis, preparation, and planning that are necessary to minimize loss and ensure continuity of an organization’s critical business functions in the event of a disaster.

A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is designed to outline the steps required to recover the systems and business processes that are critical to routine operations.

So why should you care if your company has one?

Nearly every day a disaster impacts a company or a community. Hurricanes, wildfires, blizzards, extreme heat, tornadoes, and tsunamis create big headlines, but it is often the events that do not create headlines, such as server failures, that create havoc for business. The consequences can be measured in a variety of ways: human loss or injury, financial loss or fines, impact to reputation or brand image, failure to comply with governmental regulations, and more.

According to a study by the Disaster Recovery Journal in 2007, “43 percent of businesses suffering a disaster never recover sufficiently to resume business. Of those that do reopen, only 29 percent are still operating two years later.”

The Dallas Morning News reported in January, 2007 that “A four-day computer crash at Parkland Memorial Hospital in November [2006] could end up costing $6 million to $7 million in lost bill collections, hospital officials acknowledged this week.”

The list of examples like these is long, yet many organizations still feel it isn't important.

This blog is dedicated to sharing information about business continuity planning, the respective industry best practices, and lessons learned, in hopes that more organizations will consider business continuity planning a serious component of their enterprise risk management strategy.

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