A business continuity application is software used to help develop, manage or implement an organization’s business continuity plan and maintain its operations during a crisis or other unexpected disruption.
Business continuity application software tends to fall under one of two general categories. The first are applications that help an organization analyze its risks in various crisis scenarios and then develop a business continuity plan (BCP) to minimize operational disruptions. Examples in this category include software that can help analyze and estimate the real costs and other impacts of an outage to a particular business function. Applications in this category are often known as “business continuity management applications.”
The second are applications that an organization uses to implement various facets of its BCP and manage its operations during a crisis. A data backup and recovery tool is one example of a business continuity application in this latter category. These are sometimes known as “business continuity solutions.” In some cases, these two categories work together as part of an integrated solution.
In both cases, these technologies are part of an organization’s overall strategy and toolkit for ensuring operational continuity and resilience in the face of unexpected or unwanted risks to its mission.
The foundation of a robust BCP is an in-depth analysis of the organization—its processes and workflows, its physical assets, its different departments and their business functions, not to mention all of the interdependencies among different teams and services. This evaluation can be a vast undertaking, especially in larger organizations.
A business continuity management application can help guide and track that analysis, as well as create the necessary protocols, processes and communications for implementing and managing a BCP during a crisis. A business continuity management app, then, is a software tool for not only developing a plan but also managing its implementation when needed. Key examples of business continuity planning needs that these applications address include:
The broader group of business continuity applications comprises the various software and other tools a business uses to ensure it can effectively implement its BCP if necessary, and to operate indefinitely in crisis or disaster conditions. These include all of the solutions necessary to keep people connected, to ensure access to critical data and systems, to keep information and people secure, and other needs. Some examples include: