What happens if…? Water damage? Fire? Theft? Power grid inter­ruptions? Stable business operations are elemental to a sustainable, successful business, no matter how large or small it is. The concept of operational continuity is also funda­mentally simple, but wishful thinking alone doesn't make the challenge go away.

Business Continuity Management (BCM)

Accidents happen, crises occur, attacks have become almost inevitable: The question is not whether your company faces challenges, but how you deal with them. If you have an emergency plan in place for disasters, you will navigate the dangers safely and quickly.

What is BCM?

Business continuity management is a tool that enables businesses to continue operations, even during times of crisis. The point here is not to prevent dangers. Other methods are important for that, such as  IT security training. Rather, good business continuity management (BCM) ensures that a company does not collapse in on itself in the event of sudden disasters, but can withstand the dangers by adjusting course as needed.

BCM means you have created an emergency plan in advance that you can rely on in crisis situations. However, the plan is only a framework. No two challenges are the same, and you can't devise a separate guide for every worst-case scenario. A business continuity plan forms a secure basis on which you can then react flexibly.

Proper BCM ensures that costs can be minimized in outage scenarios because, thanks to an established plan, you make decisions quickly and decisively. So instead of suffering ever more from an exceptional situation, you get operations back on track in the shortest possible time.

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Digital Waves. A preview image of the cover page of our white paper on business continuity management.

BCM in IT Security

Although BCM refers to all areas within a company, IT infra­structure requires special attention. If computers and servers fail, in many cases, the entire operation is affected. Moreover, digita­lization has opened up additional sources of concern. Malware, DDoS attacks, and network failures can bring work processes to a complete standstill in a very short time. But with business continuity planning, you can get IT up and running again quickly.

ISO Logo


If you want to have your business continuity management system certified, you must align your measures with ISO 22301. The interna­tional standard specifies how you must design your emergency system. Also related is the ISO 27001 information security standard. Through certifi­cation, you express greater security in interna­tional business and are therefore better able to forge relation­ships.

Why is business continuity management important?

Disasters can – and usually will – happen. Whether external threats or internal errors, you can try to avoid such risks, but it will never be completely successful. That makes it all the more important to minimize downtime with the help of a business continuity management system (BCMS).

A gray, slightly stormy day at the beach. In the foreground, a red life ring hangs from a holder to be readily available in case of emergencies.

Mastering crisis situations

Crises arise internally and externally and can be incredibly diverse. Here are a few typical scenarios:

Power loss icon

Power failure When your devices suddenly run out of power, sometimes every second counts. With a  uninter­ruptible power supply (UPS) you minimize outages.

Natural disaster icon

Natural disasters Extreme storms, floods or earthquakes cannot be predicted. Establish plans to protect your employees and resume operations as quickly as possible.

Pandemics icon

Pandemics If employees cannot work in offices due to lockdowns, working from home options must be created. Also high levels of sick leave can lead to a crisis and must be accounted for.

Cybercrime icon

Cybercrime DDoS attacks or malware can cripple your system. Cloud infra­structures and good  backup management help ensure that operations can quickly continue.

Supply chain icon

Supply chain disruptions If suppliers or logistics companies are no longer operating as usual, you must find alternatives.

All situations have in common that they are rather unlikely, but at the same time they can cause enormous damage.

Secure competitive advantages

There is no legal requirement to maintain a business continuity management system. But just like other inter­national standards (such as a  TISAX certifi­cation ), many global companies now expect security measures from business partners. Having a BCM system in place gives suppliers and customers confidence that collabo­ration can continue over the long term.

A failure within the supply chain also means significant damage for all others involved. That's why more and more emphasis is being placed on selecting crisis-proof business partners - in all sectors of the economy.

Three colleagues examine an basic Gantt diagram that they have drawn up on a flip chart to consider the basic steps in a plan.

How Business Continuity Planning Works

The estab­lishment of a business continuity management system (BCMS) is the responsi­bility of senior management . However, this does not mean that management itself must implement and execute BCM. Instead, a team of experts should address the issue, but always with the support of leadership. Then, the actual planning can begin.

  • Define: First, make an overview of your company. Determine what all needs to be covered by a BCMS.
  • Analyze: With a business impact analysis, you highlight the most critical areas of your operation and the potential losses in case of failure. In this way, you identify clear objectives.
  • Create: Now create checklists and plans that can be followed in emergency situations. You lay it all out for as many scenarios as possible.
  • Test: The contingency plans that are put in place must be tested to determine their effective­ness. You certainly do not want to realize that your plan does not work as intended only after disaster strikes.
  • Optimize: The experience gained from testing is in turn incorporated into the BCMS. This is how you improve your plans.
  • Establish: Finally, introduce the emergency concepts throughout the company. All impacted departments must be informed about how they need to act in the event of a crisis. This also includes defining clear responsi­bilities.


For whom is BCM suitable?

Every company can benefit from business continuity management, because no one is immune from crises.

Is BCM mandatory?

No, there are no laws that would mandate a business continuity management system (BCMS). However, more and more inter­national companies are requiring their cooperation partners to have an effective BCMS. A corre­sponding ISO certificate therefore helps to establish sustainable business relation­ships.

Who is responsible for BCM?

Business continuity management is the responsi­bility of top management. Although managing directors do not have to introduce a BCM system themselves, they must release the corre­sponding capacities for it and stand behind the implemen­tation of BCM. Only with the support of all levels can a business continuity plan be successfully created and executed.