Integrating Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery Planning

Business continuity planning and disaster recovery planning should be integrated for the best results.

Business Continuity Planning

Business continuity plans address many business interruption issues, including materials, suppliers, facilities, design, data, personnel, and other important functions. But if these plans do not address what to do after a disaster strikes, they are incomplete and will prove comparatively ineffective.

Disaster recovery plans that do not address the post-disaster, facility-related, mission-critical functions are likewise incomplete. There must be a recovery plan in place that will restore operations to the most important facilities and functions first. It does little good to restore non-critical functions first, since the business cannot function until the critical facility-related functions are restored.

Changes to facilities that can be implemented during reconstruction include, but are not limited to: process control integration, pollution equipment upgrades, structural and access code compliance changes, noise abatement, improved LAN security, improved utility grids, better dust and waste material control, improved chemical controls, and equipment upgrades. These and other critical functions can only be implemented after disasters strike if disaster recovery planning has been done beforehand, because these changes take thought, engineering, procurement, and construction.

Older facilities are prime candidates for improvement during renovation. High tech facilities such as wafer fabrication plants are candidates for improvement as well because changing technology requires the improvement of manufacturing facilities in order to keep pace with the changes in the technology of the products being produced.

Engineering, code upgrade evaluation, safety issues, increased security, mold and mildew problems, lighting, ventilation, maintenance issues, fire detection and suppression systems, office layout and efficiency – if these are addressed in the business continuity plan as potential improvements, some advantage can be gained when a disaster strikes.