A range of events can severely disrupt organisations and prevent them from operating normally - terrorism, fire, power outages, natural catastrophes and supply chain breakdowns are some of the obvious ones.
Property and stock may be damaged, employees may not be able to travel to work, and customers may not receive services. An ability to restore operations as quickly as possible minimises financial loss and enhances credibility with stakeholders and in some cases makes the difference between business survival and failure.
Due to events such as the Auckland power failures and the Gisborne earthquake, there is greater awareness of the importance of rapid business recovery, and expectations have been raised that today's organisations are capable in this area.
Many organisations have Business Continuity Plans, covering areas such as IT recovery or emergency response, but they may be too narrow in focus, or may be unable to cope with new and emerging threats.
Best-practice Business Continuity Management (BCM) focuses on those critical business processes that need to be protected - and then restored - in times of business interruption rather than on narrow issues of infrastructure recovery.