Business continuity is defined as the ability of a business to continue delivery at pre-determined levels following a disruptive occurrence. This disruption could be caused by an unforeseen incident, a natural disaster or a cyber-attack, for example.

Having a disaster recovery plan in place is therefore essential for ensuring continuity of business operations following disruption. Fully understanding what classifies as your business critical data is a key first step when planning your disaster recovery strategy.


To help you determine what data is critical for your business operations, and in turn develop measures to minimise data loss in the event of a disaster, we’ve put together a list of sample questions and a downloadable business continuity planning template that should be filled in for each department in your company.

Posing the following questions to each department will act as a good starting point:
1. What are the priority tasks, including manual functions, of your department?
2. What tasks do you perform that would impact customer services if they failed?
3. List all resources required to perform your priority tasks. This checklist should include staff, pre-printed forms, office equipment, office supplies, calculators, computer equipment, and telecommunication devices
4. Do you currently have procedures to replace critical equipment, forms and supplies in the event of a disaster?
5. What important reference materials or operating procedures are used in your department? How would these be replaced in a disaster?
6. What departmental forms, supplies, equipment, or reference manuals should be stored in an off-site location? Include the type & quantity
7. Identify the storage and security of original documents and vital records in your department.
a. How would this information be replaced in a disaster?
8. Do you currently have a temporary operating procedure in place should disaster occur?

To download the full version of the business continuity planning template, click here.

For further information on building an effective disaster recovery strategy, check out these related blog posts:
- What a 400% increase in ransomware breaches means for your business disaster recovery plans
- Covering the Difference between Backup and Disaster Recovery
- Five enablers of successful disaster recovery for your business

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