What is Business Continuity (BC) - Full Overview | Zerto

Business Continuity

A-to-Zerto Glossary of Terms



Business continuity refers to an organization’s ability to operate uninterrupted. Generally, this means maintaining critical functions during an emergency, but it also encompasses planned downtime. Constant availability of employee- and customer-facing operations is both the goal of business continuity and a way to enable business resilience. 

What Is Business Continuity ?

Business continuity means being connected and operational 24/7. This continuous availability and functionality of your organization is fundamental to maintaining brand trust and employee morale. Business continuity requires strategic planning, including a contingency plan for unplanned disruptions as well as investments that reduce planned downtime. Business continuity is important because any periods of being offline have potentially dire consequences.

Business Continuity (BC) Guide: Everything You Need to Know about BC

Why Does Business Continuity Matter?

In today’s digital-first world, business continuity has become a commonplace expectation, even though it’s admittedly difficult to achieve. Regularly scheduled downtime will frustrate your employees and customers alike. Unplanned disruptions are also more common than ever, owing to a number of causes:

  • Natural disasters
  • Labor disagreements
  • Digital heists and ransomware attacks
  • System failures and outages

But failing to plan for unexpected disruptions could be disastrous for your organization. In a worst-case disruption scenario, a business may even close permanently.

Business Continuity vs Disaster Recovery?

Business continuity is interconnected with disaster recovery (DR), forming the common acronym of BCDR. Although the two terms tend to be used interchangeably, they aren’t identical. Business continuity means maintaining organizational operability, while disaster recovery denotes restoring IT systems after a disruption.

Pyramid showing plans involved in Business Continuity

Business continuity planning establishes a business continuity plan, whereas disaster recovery planning produces a disaster recovery plan. The DR plan is a subset of the business continuity plan, along with the crisis management plan and the emergency response plan.

A DR plan may not always be triggered when the business continuity plan is invoked. There are situations that impact business continuity without affecting an organization’s IT infrastructure and systems. A staff strike at a hospital, for example, will likely activate business continuity and crisis management plans without needing to invoke any DR plan.

Business Continuity Plan (BCP) vs. Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP): What’s the Difference?

The Plans in Business Continuity

Business Continuity vs Business Resilience?

Business continuity is critical to establishing an organization’s resilience against disruptive events in the immediate to short-term horizon.

Business continuity plans, which are the result of risk assessment, business impact analysis (BIA), and planning and testing activities, address several aspects of business resilience—including operational resilience, IT resilience, and cyber resilience—and set the readiness level of an organization.

When disruption strikes, various plans are invoked and executed as needed. After normal operations are restored, an organization usually conducts a post-mortem analysis to identify gaps and implement improvements that consequently update and enhance the business continuity plan. This builds and improves business resilience.

Comparing Resilience – Part One: Business Resilience

Comparing Resilience – Part 5: Resilience with Business Continuity and Business Strategy

Why Use Zerto for Business Continuity

An essential part of business continuity, disaster recovery focuses on IT and technology infrastructure. Zerto, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is a DR solution that greatly reduces the downtime associated with unplanned disruptions and minimizes the impact of planned disruptions, enabling true business continuity. Zerto also enables an always-on experience, providing organizations with more time for innovation and business transformation.  

The Zerto solution ensures that your IT systems are resilient through emergencies that threaten to disrupt your operations. Zerto enables IT transformation through a single, simple, and scalable solution that offers unparalleled protection. It includes features critical to business continuity:

  • Instant file restore
  • Automated VM protection
  • Instant VM restore
  • Real-time analytics and capacity planning

By taking away the risks and complexity of modernization and cloud adoption, the software-only Zerto solution supports true business continuity.

Zerto Solution Overview

Other Resources


Resource Center

Discover and access content from Zerto and 3rd parties (IDC, Gartner, ESG, etc.) related to Business Continuity.

The Key Components of a Business Continuity Plan (BCP)

Learn about the essential elements that should be part of any serious BCP.

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What is Zerto?

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