U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Here’s how you know

Official websites use .gov A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS A lock ( Lock A locked padlock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

business continuity plan it pdf

IT Disaster Recovery Plan

world globe

Businesses use information technology to quickly and effectively process information. Employees use electronic mail and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telephone systems to communicate. Electronic data interchange (EDI) is used to transmit data including orders and payments from one company to another. Servers process information and store large amounts of data. Desktop computers, laptops and wireless devices are used by employees to create, process, manage and communicate information. What do you when your information technology stops working?

An information technology disaster recovery plan (IT DRP) should be developed in conjunction with the business continuity plan . Priorities and recovery time objectives for information technology should be developed during the business impact analysis . Technology recovery strategies should be developed to restore hardware, applications and data in time to meet the needs of the business recovery.

Businesses large and small create and manage large volumes of electronic information or data. Much of that data is important. Some data is vital to the survival and continued operation of the business. The impact of data loss or corruption from hardware failure, human error, hacking or malware could be significant. A plan for data backup and restoration of electronic information is essential.

Resources for Information Technology Disaster Recovery Planning

IT Recovery Strategies

Recovery strategies should be developed for Information technology (IT) systems, applications and data. This includes networks, servers, desktops, laptops, wireless devices, data and connectivity. Priorities for IT recovery should be consistent with the priorities for recovery of business functions and processes that were developed during the business impact analysis . IT resources required to support time-sensitive business functions and processes should also be identified. The recovery time for an IT resource should match the recovery time objective for the business function or process that depends on the IT resource.

Information technology systems require hardware, software, data and connectivity. Without one component of the “system,” the system may not run. Therefore, recovery strategies should be developed to anticipate the loss of one or more of the following system components:

Some business applications cannot tolerate any downtime. They utilize dual data centers capable of handling all data processing needs, which run in parallel with data mirrored or synchronized between the two centers. This is a very expensive solution that only larger companies can afford. However, there are other solutions available for small to medium sized businesses with critical business applications and data to protect.

Internal Recovery Strategies

Many businesses have access to more than one facility. Hardware at an alternate facility can be configured to run similar hardware and software applications when needed. Assuming data is backed up off-site or data is mirrored between the two sites, data can be restored at the alternate site and processing can continue.

Vendor Supported Recovery Strategies

There are vendors that can provide “hot sites” for IT disaster recovery. These sites are fully configured data centers with commonly used hardware and software products. Subscribers may provide unique equipment or software either at the time of disaster or store it at the hot site ready for use.

Data streams, data security services and applications can be hosted and managed by vendors. This information can be accessed at the primary business site or any alternate site using a web browser. If an outage is detected at the client site by the vendor, the vendor automatically holds data until the client’s system is restored. These vendors can also provide data filtering and detection of malware threats, which enhance cyber security.

Developing an IT Disaster Recovery Plan

Businesses should develop an IT disaster recovery plan. It begins by compiling an inventory of hardware (e.g. servers, desktops, laptops and wireless devices), software applications and data. The plan should include a strategy to ensure that all critical information is backed up.

Identify critical software applications and data and the hardware required to run them. Using standardized hardware will help to replicate and reimage new hardware. Ensure that copies of program software are available to enable re-installation on replacement equipment. Prioritize hardware and software restoration.

Document the IT disaster recovery plan as part of the business continuity plan . Test the plan periodically to make sure that it works.

Data Backup

Businesses generate large amounts of data and data files are changing throughout the workday. Data can be lost, corrupted, compromised or stolen through hardware failure, human error, hacking and malware. Loss or corruption of data could result in significant business disruption.

Data backup and recovery should be an integral part of the business continuity plan and information technology disaster recovery plan. Developing a data backup strategy begins with identifying what data to backup, selecting and implementing hardware and software backup procedures, scheduling and conducting backups and periodically validating that data has been accurately backed up.

Developing the Data Backup Plan

Identify data on network servers, desktop computers, laptop computers and wireless devices that needs to be backed up along with other hard copy records and information. The plan should include regularly scheduled backups from wireless devices, laptop computers and desktop computers to a network server. Data on the server can then be backed up. Backing up hard copy vital records can be accomplished by scanning paper records into digital formats and allowing them to be backed up along with other digital data.

Options for Data Backup

Tapes, cartridges and large capacity USB drives with integrated data backup software are effective means for businesses to backup data. The frequency of backups, security of the backups and secure off-site storage should be addressed in the plan. Backups should be stored with the same level of security as the original data.

Many vendors offer online data backup services including storage in the “cloud”. This is a cost-effective solution for businesses with an internet connection. Software installed on the client server or computer is automatically backed up.

Data should be backed up as frequently as necessary to ensure that, if data is lost, it is not unacceptable to the business. The business impact analysis should evaluate the potential for lost data and define the “recovery point objective.” Data restoration times should be confirmed and compared with the IT and business function recovery time objectives.

Last Updated: 02/17/2021

Return to top

business continuity plan it pdf

ISO 22301 - Business continuity

Year of publication:  2019   |   Edition:  1

A free publication about ISO 22301, Security and resilience – Business continuity management systems – Requirements , the International Standard for implementing and maintaining effective business continuity plans, systems and processes.

* Shipping costs will be charged

Related Standards

Buy this publication

This may also interest you.

Wind tunnel with bright backlight.

Got a question?

Check out our FAQs

Opening hours: Monday to Friday - 09:00-12:00, 14:00-17:00 (UTC+1)

Keep up to date with ISO

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest news, views and product information.

How to Write a Business Continuity Plan Step-by-Step: Our Experts Provide Tips

By Andy Marker | October 21, 2020 (updated August 17, 2021)

Link copied

In order to adequately prepare for a crisis, your company needs a business continuity plan. We’ve culled detailed step-by-step instructions, as well as expert tips for writing a business continuity plan and free downloadable tools.  

Included on this page, find the steps to writing a business continuity plan and a discussion of the key components in a plan . You’ll also find a business continuity plan quick-start template  and a disruptive incident quick-reference card template for print or mobile, and an expert disaster preparation checklist .

Step by Step: How to Write a Business Continuity Plan

A business continuity plan refers to the steps a company takes to help it continue operations during a crisis. In order to write a business continuity plan, you gather information about key people, tools, and processes, then write the plan as procedures and lists of resources. 

To make formatting easy, download a free business continuity plan template . To learn more about the role of a business continuity plan, read our comprehensive guide to business continuity planning . 

Michele Barry

Alex Fullick

A business continuity plan is governed by a business continuity policy. You can learn more about creating a business continuity policy and find examples by reading our guide on developing an effective business continuity policy .

How to Create a Business Continuity Plan

Creating a business continuity plan (BCP) involves gathering a team, studying risks and key tasks, and choosing recovery activities. Then write the plan as a set of lists and guidelines, which may address risks such as fires, floods, pandemics, or data breaches.

According to Alex Fullick, your best bet is to create a simple plan. “I usually break everything down into three key categories: people, places, and things. If you focus on a couple of key pieces, you will be a lot more effective. That big binder of procedures is absolutely worthless. You need a bunch of guidelines to say what you do in a given situation: where are our triggers for deciding we’re in a crisis and we have to stop doing XYZ, and just focus on ABC.” 

“Post-pandemic, I think new managers will develop more policies and guidelines of all types than required, as a fear response,” cautions Michele Barry. 

Because every company is different, no two approaches to business continuity planning are the same. Tony Bombacino, Co-Founder and President of Real Food Blends , describes his company’s formal and informal business continuity approaches. “The first step in any crisis is for our nerve center to connect quickly, assess the situation, and then go into action,” he explains. 

Tony Bombacino

“Our sales manager and our marketing manager might discuss what’s going on, and say, ‘Are we going to say anything on social media? Do we need to reach out to any of our customers? The key things, like maintaining stock levels or what if somebody gets sick? What if there's a recall?’ Those plans we have laid out. But we're not a 5,000-person multi-billion-dollar company, so our business continuity plan is often in emails and Google Docs.” 

Mike Semel

“I've done planning literally for hundreds of businesses where we've just filled out basic forms,” says Mike Semel, President and Chief Compliance Officer of Semel Consulting . “For example, noting the insurance company's phone number — you know, on the back of your utility bill, which you never look at, there's an emergency number for if the power goes out or if the gas shuts off. We've helped people gather all that information and put it down. Even if there's no other plan, just having that information at their fingertips when they need it may be enough.”

You can also approach your business continuity planning as including three types of responses:

Quick-Start Guide Business Continuity Plan Template

Business Continuity Quick Start Guide and template

If you don’t already have a business continuity plan in place, but need to create one in short order to respond to a disruption, use this quick-start business continuity template. This template is available in Word and Google Docs formats, and it’s simply formatted so that you can focus on brainstorming and problem-solving. 

Download Quick-Start Guide Business Continuity Plan Template

Word | PDF | Google Docs | Smartsheet

For other most useful free, downloadable business continuity plan (BCP) templates please read our "Free Business Continuity Plan Templates" article.

Key Components of a Business Continuity Plan

Your company’s complete business continuity plan will have many details. Your plan may differ from other companies' plans based on industry and other factors. Each facility or business unit may also conduct an impact analysis and create disaster recovery and continuity plans . Consider adding these key components to your business plan:

Key Resources for Business Continuity

To fix problems, restore operations, or submit an insurance claim, you need readily available details of the human resources and other groups that can assist with business continuity. (Your organization's unique situation may also require specific types of resources.) Add this information to appendices at the back of your continuity plan.

Fullick suggests broadening the definition of human assets. "People are our employees, certainly. But we forget that the term ‘people’ includes executive management. Management doesn't escape pandemics or the flu or a car crash. Bad things can happen to them and around them, too." 

Use the following list as a prompt for recording important information about your organization. Your unique situation may require other types of information.

Activities to Complete Before Writing the Business Continuity Plan

Before you write your plan, take these preliminary steps to assemble a team and gather background information. 

Common Structure of a Business Continuity Plan

Knowing the common structure should help shape the plan — and frees you from thinking about form when you should be thinking about content. Here is an example of a BCP format:

Keep in mind that every business is different — no two BCPs look the same. Tailor your business continuity plan to your company, and make sure the document captures all the information you need to keep your business functioning. Having everything you need to know in an emergency is the most crucial part of a BCP.

Disruptive Incident Quick-Reference Card Template

Disruptive Incident Quick Reference Cad Template

Use this quick-reference card template to write the key steps that employees should take in case of an emergency. Customize this template for each business unit, department, or role. Describe what people should do immediately and in the following days and weeks to continue the business. Print PDFs and laminate them for workstations or wallets, or load the PDFs on your mobile phone. 

Download Disruptive Incident Quick-Reference Card Template 

Expert Disaster Preparation Checklist

Business continuity and disaster planning aren’t just about your buildings and cloud backup — it’s about people and their families. Based on a document by Mike Semel of Semel Consulting, this disaster checklist helps you prepare for the human needs of your staff and their families, including food, shelter, and other comforts.

Tips for Writing a Business Continuity Plan

With its many moving parts and considerations, a business continuity plan can seem intimidating. Follow these tips to help you write, track, and maintain a strong BCP:

Empower Your Teams to Build Business Continuity with Smartsheet

Empower your people to go above and beyond with a flexible platform designed to match the needs of your team — and adapt as those needs change. 

The Smartsheet platform makes it easy to plan, capture, manage, and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done. Report on key metrics and get real-time visibility into work as it happens with roll-up reports, dashboards, and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed. 

When teams have clarity into the work getting done, there’s no telling how much more they can accomplish in the same amount of time.  Try Smartsheet for free, today.

Discover why over 90% of Fortune 100 companies trust Smartsheet to get work done.

Legal Templates

Home Business Business Continuity Plan

Business Continuity Plan Template

Use a business continuity plan to outline how your business will continue to operate in a range of disaster scenarios.

Updated May 29, 2023 | Legally reviewed by Brooke Davis

A business continuity plan outlines the instructions and procedures a business should follow after some disaster. Disruptive events like floods and fires can interrupt your business practices.

It would be best if you had a plan to handle these situations and effectively get back to work.

Give your organization the tools it needs to operate effectively despite any disruptions – you never know when a disaster can strike, but you can be prepared.

What is a Business Continuity Plan?

Critical components of a business continuity plan, different types of business continuity plans, how to write a business continuity plan, business continuity plan sample, benefits of a business continuity plan, how often should a business continuity plan be tested, business continuity plan faqs.

A business continuity plan is a document that sets forth your organization’s strategies for dealing with a disaster. These procedures help you to resume business quickly and reduce downtime and lost revenue.

It covers essential processes like asset protection, human resources issues, and how to deal with business partners.

When to Use a Business Continuity Plan?

You want to create a business continuity plan before you need it . The point of this document is to be ahead of the game. You do not want to respond to a disaster without a set plan. Business continuity planning is critical to a successful response to a disaster.

Once your continuity plan is in place, you may need to use it in disasters such as:

A business continuity plan is as crucial to your company as a business plan .

You’ll need to incorporate several elements into each business continuity plan. For example, begin with assessing risks that can interrupt your business. You also must clearly define how your organization will communicate in a crisis and define roles and responsibilities.

Additionally, continuous testing and training will help staff members prepare for emergencies.

Risk and Potential Business Impact

It would be best to start with the business impact analysis for a business continuity and disaster plan. This section will list potential internal and external risks. This might include a disruption due to a flood or storm, an IT breach, or the loss of a significant supplier.

You can use this analysis to estimate the time and cost of business recovery.

Planning an Effective Response

Don’t leave anything out. Meet leaders and key staff members to consider any disruptions your business could face. Ask participants to assume the worst and consider ways to recover from each scenario. Once you have a comprehensive list, rank business priorities such as revenue, customer protection, regulatory adherence, and other concerns that matter most to your company.

Once you have a completed list, link each item to applications, facilities, and resources needed to keep them up and running. Next, you can begin to identify recovery strategies and estimate costs. In particular, IT will depend on the list of critical applications to prioritize recovery following an emergency.

Roles and Responsibilities

The last thing you want to do in an emergency is have everyone wondering who’s in charge. By creating a business continuity team, you define the point person for every location and department in your company.

The business continuity management team should meet regularly to update the plan and discuss ongoing training and testing. Additionally, high-level leaders must champion a business continuity plan for it to be effective.


Clear, effective communication can reassure team members across the organization. This will give everyone the confidence to step up and respond appropriately. You also need a communication strategy to coordinate suppliers and minimize customer dissatisfaction.

Include key contacts so your business partners and customers know who to contact in case of a disruption.

Having a prewritten press release and social media posts for various scenarios can take the pressure off the BCP team and allow them to concentrate on executing the plan.

Create a separate communication plan to keep everyone in the loop during a crisis.

Uninterrupted Access to Business Resources and IT Operations

In an interconnected world, remote technology can enhance your business continuity plan. Adopt software and solutions that facilitate remote work. This will allow team members to work from a hotel room, home, or elsewhere.

You’re already ahead of the game if your organization espouses a hybrid work environment. Chances are your people already work from different locations.

As well as uninterrupted access to business resources, your business continuity plan should include how to access IT systems.

For example, do you have a backup data center for redundancy? How easily can IT or other team members switch to the backup site for various apps?

As part of the business continuity planning process, it’s essential to gauge how your infrastructure can respond to a rapid hardware failure, network disruption, or data loss.

Testing and Training

As you write various plans using a business continuity plan template, there’s one thing to remember. Your organization will rely heavily on this document in case of an internal or external threat.

Therefore, you need a robust plan with detailed guidance on communication protocols, disaster recovery, and accessing data and applications remotely.

Conduct rigorous testing and training to avoid issues and catch gaps in your BCP. If you want your staff to respond effectively during a disruption, you must train them about their role in all facets of the BCP.

You can use a business continuity plan template to define how your organization will handle crisis management and communication in an emergency. It’s important to account for emergency response instructions and capture essential information to get your IT resources up and running quickly since they’re crucial in all recovery efforts.

You’ll also need a business continuity plan (BCP) that addresses how to create, maintain, and execute your business continuity strategies. You can get business continuity plans dedicated to each of the below, but our template can cover each:

Crisis Management 

Crisis management defines how your organization will respond to an emergency. Your business continuity plan for this function should contain policies that minimize loss and focus on mitigating damage to profitability and reputation. The executive team will spearhead the crisis management plan executed by operational teams. Meanwhile, the business continuity management team will facilitate the smooth operation of the plan from a tactical perspective.

Crisis Communications 

There are 5Cs in crisis communications: care, commitment, continuity, competency, and community. A crisis communications business continuity plan should identify leaders and provide important details about staying connected when normal communication channels close. Drafting emergency messages ahead of time will facilitate social media updates and press releases, as well as internal instructions.

Emergency Response

Account for several phases of emergency management, including preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery. You may need to relocate when your organization faces a business disruption or natural disaster. So, include procedural information such as where, when, and how leadership and key staff will access alternate resources. The finished document should integrate with your emergency action plan .

IT disaster recovery

An IT disaster recovery business continuity plan isn’t just for software companies. Every corporation and organization should have a detailed IT business continuity plan, including running essential systems during and after a major disruption, targeting IT operations, and documenting recovery objectives, roles, and responsibilities.

Business continuity

This document outlines how to create and maintain your business continuity plan. Include the business analysis impact, plan development, leadership, and project management for your overall BCP framework. Overall, focus on risk mitigation and recovery efforts.

Writing your plan can seem daunting, but it does not have to be. You can create your document easily with a free business continuity plan template. You can even use our document builder to build your plan in minutes. Your business continuity plan should include the following:

Step 1 – Purpose of the plan

The plan should address the scope of its effect. Does the plan cover your entire business? Is it for specific departments?

Your employees and managers need to know how this plan will be applied. It should clearly state over whom the policy applies so everyone knows what is expected of them after a disaster.

business continuity plan purpose

Step 2 – Identify Key Business Areas

After a disaster, it will be difficult or impossible to go back to normal immediately. Identify the critical aspects of your business.

What are your main revenue-generating products and services, and how would they be impacted if you could not deliver them? What do you need to function? What operations are critical, and what can wait until later?

Would this significantly impact your revenue or customer base if these things were undeliverable for some time?

This section is not about convenience but necessity. Hone in on these critical functions to determine a priority list for your business continuity plan.

business continuity plan business function

Step 3 – Define the Crisis Team

People must know who is in charge during an emergency and their contact information. There should be no doubt about who will call the shots about essential business decisions.

These individuals will lead the local response and may be responsible for a more comprehensive response strategy outside the disaster’s immediate area.

The crisis team should be identified by role and title. This ensures that everyone knows who is in charge if there is a personnel change. Training and letting these key team members know their positions should a disaster occur is critically important.

business continuity plan team details

Step 4 – Create a Crisis Communication Plan

In addition to identifying the team in charge, the business continuity plan should outline how individuals communicate. Standard methods of communication may be inaccessible.

If you are without email, how will you handle communication? How will you handle customer ordering and fulfillment if your computer system is down? Ensure you include the name of who is in charge of customer communications and their contact information.

To test your processes, it would be best to draft sample emergency messages before a crisis. This could include press releases, interviews, or even social media updates.

business continuity plan customer communication

Step 5 – Relocation and Recovery Operations

You may need to relocate to an alternative worksite in a natural disaster or business disruption. Include the procedure information and what resources will be required.

business continuity plan relocation recovery

Step 6 – Review and Testing

It’s critical to ensure that your business continuity plan is effective and stays up to date. Ensure you include who is in charge of this and how often the plan will be reviewed and tested.

business continuity plan reviewing and testing

Step 7 – Plan Deactivation

You should also include who is responsible for deactivating the business continuity plan and what the procedure is. This ensures that someone can decide to get the company back to normal workings.

business continuity plan plan deactivation

Below you can find a business continuity plan sample to help you start drafting your plan:

business continuity plan template

A business continuity plan defines leadership roles in a disaster and focuses on employee and customer safety. It also enables your company to recover more quickly in a disaster.

Here’s a closer look at the significant advantages of writing and maintaining a business continuity plan.

A Well-Defined Leadership Protocol For a Disaster

Senior leadership directs the business continuity plan and sanctions communication protocols for the company. Individual department leaders create continuity plans for IT, security, HR, payroll, legal, and other functions.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to assign a project manager dedicated to maintaining the BCP and setting up training for new and current staff members.

A More Efficient Return to Normal Business Operations

A BCP could differentiate between continued operations and financial disaster in an emergency. Returning to business operations quickly can prevent customers from defecting to competitors.

A business continuity plan template makes planning for contingencies in various scenarios easy and addresses the most critical roles and responsibilities needed to keep your company running.

Above all, having a business continuity plan minimizes downtime and limits confusion during critical situations.

Increased Employee Safety

The BCP should always consider the health and safety of employees above business objectives. Remember that the safety and wellness of loved ones will be at the top of everyone’s minds.

With remote access to key systems, leaders and other team members can balance the needs of their families, coworkers, and customers.

Reduction in Lost Time and Lost Revenue

Unmitigated disruptions can financially weaken an organization quickly. Business continuity plans account for all factors needed for continued operations. The more effort you put into planning, the more time and money you can save.

So, ensure a reliable backup plan for essential IT systems and enable remote access to customer, product, and company data to keep the revenue stream flowing.

Ability to Quickly Implement IT Fixes

Natural and manufactured disasters typically involve system disruptions. To remain functional, build redundancy into your critical systems. This will allow you to implement essential fixes to hardware and software assets.

A business continuity plan should be constantly reviewed and updated to align with current business processes. You should check your business continuity plan at least twice a year, but this could be more dependent on the size of your business and how often your systems and processes change.

For most businesses, you’ll want to follow the below sample schedule:

Review Your Checklist – Twice a Year

You should review your business continuity plan twice yearly to ensure it is still relevant to your current business processes and status. You should also ensure the plan aligns with your business goals and objectives.

Put It Into Practice – Once a Year

Test your plan by putting it into practice. You should make sure that your plan is solid when put into action, and the best way to do this is by conducting emergency drills at least once a year.

Think of it like practicing fire drills at school.

Formal Review – Every Other Year

Gather relevant teams and stakeholders of your business and sit down to review the business continuity plan every other year. This doesn’t have to be overly time-consuming, but it should help you identify any weaknesses or red flags in your plan.

Comprehensive Review – Every Other Year

Separate from the formal review, this one fully delves into the plan. It should look closely at every aspect and ensure everything is up to date with current business processes.

Mock Recovery Test – Every Two or Three Years

This is an in-depth test of your business continuity plan and is the best way to ensure your plan works and hasn’t any potential failings. As this is time-consuming, it doesn’t have to happen frequently but should ensure that all stakeholders sign off on the continuity plan.

You need to consider all disaster scenarios and if you can manage them effectively. Ensure your plan is ready to tackle any problematic or surprising situations.

What is the difference between a business continuity plan and a disaster recovery plan?

A disaster recovery plan focuses mainly on restoring IT operations and infrastructure following the disaster. It is more limited in scope but is often part of a larger business continuity plan.

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning?

The primary goal of business continuity planning is to get your business back up and running as quickly as possible. It will help reduce downtime and reduce lost revenue.

What should be included in a business continuity plan?

A business continuity plan should include key sections like:

What is the purpose of a business continuity plan?

The purpose of a business continuity plan is to minimize disruption to normal business processes in the event of a disaster. It outlines how the organization will deal with a disaster. Business continuity plans help you reduce disruption to your business and reduce lost revenue. 

What are the four p’s of business continuity planning?

There are four p’s you need to keep in mind when creating a business continuity plan, they are:

Related Business Operations Documents


IT Business Continuity Plan Template

Downloaded 1354 times

Say goodbye to paper checklists!

Digitalize this paper form now

Register for free on lumiformapp.com and conduct inspections via our mobile app


Scope & Objectives

Operations at risk and recovery plan, roles & responsibilities.


Streamline Your Business Resilience Efforts with an IT Business Continuity Plan Template

A business continuity plan (BCP) template is a document that outlines the procedures and strategies an organization should follow in case of a disruptive event that may impact its ability to continue operating. The BCP template is a critical tool for IT teams as it provides a framework for ensuring the resilience of technology systems and services that are essential for business operations.

The BCP template typically includes a range of components such as risk assessment, incident response, disaster recovery, communication protocols, and operational procedures. It is a comprehensive document that outlines a step-by-step approach to mitigating the impact of disruptive events and minimizing downtime.

Please note that this checklist template is a hypothetical appuses-hero example and provides only standard information. The template does not aim to replace, among other things, workplace, health and safety advice, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or any other applicable law. You should seek your professional advice to determine whether the use of such a checklist is appropriate in your workplace or jurisdiction.

business continuity plan it pdf

The only business continuity plan template you’ll ever need

by The Integris Team

Every organization needs a business continuity plan (BCP) in place in case of an emergency. Nobody ever expects a disaster to take out an entire network or business unit, but lack of a contingency plan can be a costly mistake. Gartner estimates an average of $5,600 is lost every minute your business is down, which equates to a range of $140,000–$540,000 per hour. Statista reports 15 percent of businesses lost over $5 million per hour from enterprise server downtime in 2019.

You need a business continuity plan template that accounts for all aspects of your business operations. It needs to successfully accommodate any planned or unplanned disruptions.

What is a business continuity plan template?

An unplanned outage can quickly become a catastrophe if you’re not prepared. Every employee, piece of equipment, and program needs to be accounted for and organized. Your business has a lot of moving parts, and you need recovery priorities, recovery plans, and alternate site locations in place.

Your business continuity plan template contains everything you need to reduce downtime and get around disruptions. It’s important to maintain critical operational processes in the event of any disturbances. These processes will ultimately form your business’ continuity plan checklist. Not all disruptions are disasters, either.

Recovery from natural disasters and cyberattacks is important. In fact, disaster recovery is an example of a business continuity plan. However, even an inter-office move, power outage or new system implementation can disrupt operations. Routine downtime can become a catastrophe if not properly contained.

The two most important resources to protect your people and your technology.

What is an IT service continuity plan?

IT business operations are among the most complicated to plan, so you need an IT service continuity plan in place. This type of business continuity plan specifically targets the IT team to ensure your technology infrastructure remains in place through any outages. According to Symantec’s 2019 Internet Security Threat Report , sophisticated cyberattacks against business networks are on the rise.

And that’s only half the problem.

An IT service continuity plan keeps records of teams, strategies, and recovery objectives to track every aspect of IT’s continued operations. IT administrators use both onsite and cloud-based storage solutions with data redundancy to ensure every workstation and program works. In the event of an outage, IT maintains all lines of communications and keeps other business units working.

Once IT is accounted for, this team works with executive management to support the rest of your employees.

Necessary sections in a business continuity plan template

Your business continuity plan template is specific to your business, but there are four main components that need to be included.

1. Introduction

Don’t skip the introduction—it’s an important part of the business continuity plan checklist. This is where you explain to the reader how to implement the plan. It includes a table of contents, defines any relevant acronyms, and assigns responsibilities and roles throughout the organization.

The business continuity plan (BCP) introduction is a high-level overview of the objectives, scope, and assumptions you’re working with, along with distribution. Think of it as the cover letter or the instructions for the rest of the document.

2. Business continuity strategy

Your business continuity strategy is where the meat of your BCP lies. This is where you dig into the weeds of each business unit and the functions it performs. In fact, each team and location will have its own individual business continuity plan based on this template.

Business function recovery priorities

This strategy explains how to integrate an offsite strategy for time-critical business functions. IT oversees most of the strategies in this section, which is why the IT service continuity plan is so important in the recovery of any disruption.

Each critical function should be listed throughout each departmental business continuity plan.

Relocation strategy and alternative business site

If office facilities are affected by a disruption or disaster, this section lists alternate sites that have been established and are ready to continue functions. These options are categorized into long-term and short-term solutions.

For a multi-site business, staff members at other sites who perform similar functions can accommodate workloads if necessary.

Recovery plan phases

A successful business continuity plan template comprises of four sequential phases:

Vital records backup

Backups are vital to every recovery effort. You should have plenty of redundant processes and storage procedures in place. Should records need to be physically transferred to a new location, care must be taken to preserve their integrity and security.

Restoration of files, forms, and supplies

Many backups are offsite, and data can be destroyed if not immediately moved from the afflicted building. This includes any mail (received or unopened), files stored in desks and cabinets, hard drives, and any work in progress. Your business continuity plan template should include storage and transport procedures.

Online access to computer systems

Access to technology, digital communications, and network resources are the foundation of your team’s productivity and quality. Each workstation, terminal and business resource (fax machines, printers, copiers, scanners, cash registers, etc.) need troubleshooting in an emergency, which is why IT is so important.

3. Recovery teams

This section lists the function of each onsite team, along with assigning roles and responsibilities for overseeing recovery efforts. Employees are assigned team leader, backup team leader, and team member, each with different duties. This keeps everyone organized while reacting to the situation.

Call trees for every employee and contractor on site should be built. This allows for easy updates and coordination during an event. Emergency response procedures (such as calling 911, if necessary) will be listed in this section with team contacts.

4. Recovery procedures

Here is where you list the exact, step-by-step procedures for each individual task that needs to be completed during the business recovery efforts. A business continuity plan example here would be a guide for assessing building damage and determining whether to evacuate.

Building evacuation procedures, notifications, and other details will be covered in this section. Every location’s recovery procedures will vary based on the nature of the disruption. Short-term and long-term procedures should be included.

5. Appendices

Appendices are used to streamline your business continuity plan checklist by referencing large tables in the back. For example, employee telephone lists, vendor lists, desktop computer configurations, and other vital resources and records can be outlined in an appendix and sourced within the strategies and procedures above.

These appendices make dividing the BCP among business units and points of contact easier.

How does an IT service continuity plan differ?

As pointed out above, the IT service continuity plan and disaster recovery plan are both examples of business continuity plans. It’s important to distinguish them because IT needs to be faster than every other business unit to support their recovery efforts.

IT service continuity plans include normal business processes and team specifics like the above. This team also needs two recovery objectives:

Recovery time objectives

This is how long IT processes can be down before affecting the business.

Recovery point objectives

The max interval of data loss since the last backup that the business can sustain.

With these objectives in place, IT can recover quickly enough to keep the rest of the business running smoothly.

Keep reading

Benefits of Managed IT Services for Small Businesses in New York City

Benefits of Managed IT Services for Small Businesses in New York City

Building a sustainable, secure, and scalable business takes a team of experts not just within the four walls of your business. To propel your business forward in an ever-changing digital environment, consider the importance of enlisting information technology experts...

How Financial Institutions Should Face the New Era of Cybersecurity Threats

How Financial Institutions Should Face the New Era of Cybersecurity Threats

If you think financial institutions are the most attractive of all targets for hackers, you're right. While cyberattacks are increasing in all industries, they are particularly vexing for banks and credit unions of all sizes. Consider these recent statistics: Banks...

How the Best IT Companies in Minnesota Support the Hybrid Workforce

How the Best IT Companies in Minnesota Support the Hybrid Workforce

After the initial shutdowns and stay-at-home orders lifted following COVID-19, workers throughout the United States and Minnesota decided that the work-from-home model was here to stay. It makes sense -- working from home offers a lot of convenience to your team – and...

Get Access to ALL Templates & Editors for Just $2 a month.

pricing crown

Business Continuity Plan Template – 29+ Free Word, Excel, PDF Format Download

Every business, no matter how successful and widespread has to devise and develop strategies in advance to protect and safeguard its interests, in case of adversities. The plan formulated is known as a Business Continuity Plan (BCP.) It contains an elaborate list of strategies and procedures the company must carry out in the event of a foreseeable or unforeseeable setback. This file also features defining the member’s roles and responsibilities when there is a negative scenario present. You can also see more on Simple Business Plans .

business continuity plan

Business Continuity Strategy Plan Template

business continuity plan template

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan Template

disaster recovery and business continuity plan template

Work From Home Business Continuity Plan Template

work from home business continuity plan template

IT Business Continuity Plan Template

it business continuity plan template

Business Continuity Planner Resume Template

business continuity planner resume template

Corporate Business Continuity Plan Template

corporate business continuity plan template

Business Continuity Action Plan Template

business continuity action plan template

Service Business Continuity Plan Template

service business continuity plan template

Team Business Continuity Plan Design Template

team business continuity plan template

Manufacturing Business Continuity Plan Template

manufacturing business continuity plan template

Construction Business Continuity Plan Template

construction business continuity plan template

Nonprofit Business Continuity Plan Template

nonprofit business continuity plan template

School Business Continuity Plan Template

school business continuity plan template

Business Continuity Plan Template

business continuity plan template

Business Plan Outline Template

business plan outline template

Sample Business Plan Template

sample business plan template

Simple Business Plan Template

simple business plan template

Business Bank Continuity Plan Example

business continuity plan example

Emergency Natural Disaster Business Continuity Plan

business continuity plan sample

Business Continuity Plan Template Free Download

business continuity plan template free download

Free Business Continuity Risk Management Template

business continuity management

Free Business Continuity Plan Checklist Template

business continuity plan checklist

Free Business Continuity Plan Template

business continuity plan template free

Free Manufacturing Business Continuity Plan

examples and instructions ofbusiness continuity plan

Information Technology Business Continuity Planning

business continuity planning

How to Write Business Continuity Plan Template

how to write business continuity plan template

Sample Small Business Continuity Plan

sample business continuity plan

What is a Business Continuity Plan

what is a business continuity plan

Summing Up:

More in plan templates.

Get access to ALL Templates, Designs & Documents

18+ FREE & Premium Business Continuity Plan - Download NOW

Beautifully Designed, Easily Editable Templates to Get your Work Done Faster & Smarter.

Get access to ALL Templates, Designs & Documents



  1. Free 12+ Sample Business Continuity Plan Templates In Pdf pertaining to

    business continuity plan it pdf

  2. Business continuity plan template in Word and Pdf formats

    business continuity plan it pdf

  3. FREE IT Service Continuity Plan Template

    business continuity plan it pdf

  4. Chapter 3

    business continuity plan it pdf

  5. Business continuity and disaster recovery plan template in Word and Pdf

    business continuity plan it pdf

  6. 7 Free Business Continuity Plan Templates

    business continuity plan it pdf


  1. Business Continuity Plan

  2. Business Continuity Training

  3. Business Continuity Plan for Banks

  4. The Engine

  5. Business Continuity Training

  6. D&V Philippines


  1. PDF Crisis management and business continuity guide

    Business Continuity KPMG designs and delivers end-to- end business continuity, IT Disaster Recovery and resilience services, with targeted review and assessment of existing capabilities to provide a road-map for improvement.

  2. PDF Business Continuity Management

    Business Continuity Management Setup updates and management 02 An effective Business Continuity Management (BCM) program is a critical component of successful business management. Experience shows that typically over 50 percent of businesses without an effective business continuity plan will ultimately fail following a major disruption.

  3. Free Business Continuity Plan Templates

    This template is available for download in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and PDF formats. Additionally, you can learn the definition of a business continuity plan, the steps involved in business continuity planning, as well as about the business continuity lifecycle in our article about business continuity planning.

  4. PDF Business Continuity Plan

    -1 Ready Business® Business Continuity Plan Team (IT, Production, Support) Member Name Email Work Telephone Home / Cell Telephone Business Impact Analysis •Insert results of Business Impact Analysis •Identify Recovery Time Objectives for business processes and information technology •Identify Recovery Point Objective for data restoration

  5. IT Disaster Recovery Plan

    Businesses should develop an information technology disaster recovery plan (IT DRP) in conjunction with a business continuity plan. Businesses use information technology to quickly and effectively process information. Employees use electronic mail and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telephone systems to communicate. Electronic data interchange (EDI) is used to transmit data including ...


    This planning guide is an assembly of existing standard operating procedures, plans and best practises that will explore the key components of a Business Continuity planning process. It will also provide a high-level framework for the creation, implementation, and maintenance of a business Continuity Plan (BCP)..

  7. Business Continuity Plan (BCP) Templates

    Click on the Web or PDF report below to view the business continuity plan example. Preview Sample Digital Report Preview Sample PDF Report Business continuity templates can be used in any industry for IT disaster recovery, continuity of customer-facing operations, and backup of transport & logistics operations. In this article

  8. (PDF) IT Infrastructure -Business Continuity Plan Implementation and

    Business Continuity Planning requires many efforts from cross-functional team members across the organization. If creating a plan is such a big commitment, maintaining and regular, testing...

  9. PDF Business Continuity Planning Policy Manual

    This Business Continuity Planning policy is intended to provide the framework for developing and maintaining a Plan that is specific to the business needs, strategic goals and risk appetite of [Sample Client], and that is relative to its size and complexity.

  10. PDF Business Continuity Plan

    Introduction United Way (UW) personnel are familiar with crises. Planning and preparing for various types of unfortunate events represents a fair portion of what you do. It is equally important that each United Way have its own viable plan for what to do if it is impacted in a crisis. We cannot be rescuers while we ourselves are victims.

  11. PDF Creating a Business Continuity Plan

    The business continuity plan (BCP) is intended to be a dynamic plan and can be used in emergencies, disasters, and other catastrophic events where the technology, facility, or a department is severely impacted. BCPs are critical in keeping the facility open and providing care to the community. Having a BCP in place also reduces the economic

  12. PDF WHO guidance for business continuity planning

    plan and can quickly assume his/her role if the plan is activated; • maintaining the plan, and ensuring it is regularly eviewed, tested and updated at least once a year;r • approving and signing off on the plan and all. subsequent revisions; • formally handing over the business continuity plan eplacement. to his/her r

  13. (PDF) Business continuity plan

    January 2020 Authors: Ashok Kumar Prabhu Prasad University of Mysore Abstract The Business continuity plan and strategy provide effective solutions to Multi-cloud and Microservice approach. The...

  14. Business Continuity Plan: Example & How to Write

    A business continuity plan is a practical guide developed by companies to enable continuous operations in the event of major business disruptions like natural disasters and global lockdowns. Business continuity planning usually involves analyzing the impact of disrupted business processes and determining recovery strategies with management.

  15. ISO

    Year of publication: 2019 | Edition: 1 A free publication about ISO 22301, Security and resilience - Business continuity management systems - Requirements, the International Standard for implementing and maintaining effective business continuity plans, systems and processes. Download This may also interest you 15 September 2020

  16. How to Write a Business Continuity Plan

    Here is an example of a BCP format: Business Name: Record the business name, which usually appears on the title page. Date: The day the BCP is completed and signed off. Purpose and Scope: This section describes the reason for and span of the plan. Business Impact Analysis: Add the results of the BIA to your plan.

  17. Free Business Continuity Plan Template

    A business continuity plan is a document that sets forth your organization's strategies for dealing with a disaster. These procedures help you to resume business quickly and reduce downtime and lost revenue. It covers essential processes like asset protection, human resources issues, and how to deal with business partners.

  18. PDF Continuity of Operations Plan Development Workshop

    Business Process Analysis/Business Impact Analysis COOP Plan Formatting COOP Resources Questions & Answers Takeaways. ... (PDF or Word), if not using COOP platform. ... CISA Emergency Services Sector Continuity Planning Suite Continuity Training Continuity Plan Templates;

  19. IT Business Continuity Plan Template

    This business continuity and disaster recovery template is designed to help IT teams and business continuity managers proactively prepare for events that could disrupt operations and develop disaster recovery strategies. This template enables you to do this: Download as PDF. Downloaded 1345 times. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★.

  20. The only business continuity plan template you'll ever need

    A successful business continuity plan template comprises of four sequential phases: Disaster occurrence- This is the beginning phase of the disaster and includes emergency response measures, call trees, and damage assessments. Plan activation- The second phase occurs when teams are notified and your business continuity plan checklist is put ...

  21. Business Continuity Plan Template

    Size: A4, US. Download. To make the job easier, download the business continuity plan checklist templates that are readily available for download. Try and make the best impression needed for your business with the help of this business plan outline template. This well-layered template is fully customizable and easy to edit in MS Word or Pages.


    New users can sign up for the 2023 Promotions at the Business Customer Gateway. For ideas on new or existing Promotions, ... Event Planning Template 2.0; Executive Mail Center Manager (EMCM) Industry Speaker Database Form; ... COVID-19 CONTINUITY OF OPERATIONS UPDATE - INTERNATIONAL SERVICE RESUMPTION NOTICE - Effective June 2, 2023 (Libya) ...

  23. PDF support the Governor's plan to cut school property tax rates by

    We, the undersigned, support the Governor's plan to cut school property tax rates by an additional $0.16 for a combined total of $0.26 per $100 of value. School tax rates for M&O would drop from $0.91 in 2022 to $0.64 next year. That rate cut will save all Texas