Business Continuity Planning

What is Business Continuity?

Business Continuity is the ability of an organization to continue operations and services in the face of a disruptive event. It's about understanding, anticipating, and planning for events that threaten our mission so that Cal State Monterey Bay remains viable. Business Continuity is more than just the ability to recover from a disaster; it's the ability to continue operating before, during, and after an incident.

How is this Different from Emergency Management?

Emergency Management plans for the protection and survival of individuals, focusing on health and safety. Business Continuity plans for the protection and survival of the university as an organization. Business Continuity is the “now what?” that follows a disaster, and is concerned with ensuring that the university is positioned to return to full, normal operations as quickly as possible following an incident.

What if you were told that you could never re-enter your building again? You cannot retrieve any information from your desk or your computer, and you are expected to resume working conditions tomorrow. Where will you physically work if you no longer have workspace? How will you continue working if all of your data is inaccessible? How will you call your staff if all of their home numbers were located on your computer, which you cannot access? Where will your staff report tomorrow morning? The efforts that led you to safety are part of emergency planning. Ensuring your department will be able to resume operations is business continuity planning.

Why is Business Continuity Planning Important?

Failure to have an adequate continuity plan could lead to financial disaster, interruptions of academic classes, failure of research projects, delays in completing other mission critical activities, and a reduction in the quality of our university. Getting back to “business as usual” is imperative to protect the students, faculty, and staff that make the business of Cal State Monterey Bay successful.

How To Prepare

What Are We Planning For?

In a nutshell…everything! Business Continuity Planning includes all threats to an organization whether long-term, short-term, isolated, or campus wide. Attempting to identify and plan for each instance is nearly impossible so we have categorized four general scenarios to plan for:

  • Loss of Facilities and/or Equipment
  • Loss of Physical Data and/or Information Technology
  • Loss of People
  • Loss of Energy (water, electricity, gas)

Creating a Business Continuity Plan

Steps for Creating a Business Continuity Plan

  1. Departmental review - put your draft plan through your department's customary process for review, changes, and approval.
  2. Communicate your plan to your staff. Distribute your plan document (electronic or printed) to your leaders/managers, and communicate the essentials of your plan to all of your faculty and staff.
  3. Communicate your plan to your staff. Distribute your plan document (electronic or printed) to your leaders/managers, and communicate the essentials of your plan to all of your faculty and staff.
  4. Update your plan - Business Continuity Plans should be reviewed at least annually and updated as frequently as needed. Changes to your operating procedures, processes, and key personnel should be reflected in your Business Continuity Plan as they occur.