The primary objectives of any Business Continuity Program as well as that of Georgetown University are to;

  • Provide for the safety and well-being of Students, Faculty, Staff and Visitors.
  • Protect University and customer property, assets, and records.
  • Identify and establish priorities with regards to critical business process components, and technology systems.
  • Continuation of academic and business functionality in the event of an interruption to minimize:
    • Disruption to University functions
    • Financial losses and 
    • Maintain regulatory compliance 
  • Return to normal operation as soon as possible

These objectives are met only through hard work, determination and perseverance. Disasters don’t happen to US every day. So when events occur it’s nice to know that there is a place to turn that can help guide you through the steps of maintaining your work functionality should “something” happen, your business continuity plan.

This site is primarily dedicated to Information Technology Disaster Recovery but also houses information on Business Continuity and Emergency Management. Want to know more? Browse the sections of this site or go to http://safety.georgetown.edu. Each site will provide information.

Business Continuity

Business Continuity (BC) is the activity performed by an organization to ensure that critical business functions will be available to all entities that rely on those functions. These activities include many daily chores such as project management, system backups, change control, and help desk. Business Continuity is not something implemented at the time of a disaster; Business Continuity is a series of activities performed on a daily basis to maintain service, consistency, and recoverability.

The foundation of Business Continuity are the standards, program development, and supporting policies; guidelines,and procedures needed to ensure an organization is able to continue without a major interupption, irrespective of the adverse circumstances or events. All business continuity design, implementation, support, and maintenance is based on this foundation, in order to have any hope of achieving Business Continuity. Business continuity is sometimes confused with disaster recovery, but they are separate entities. Disaster recovery is a small subset of business continuity. It is also sometimes confused with Work Area Recovery (due to loss of the physical building which the business is conducted within); which is but a part of business continuity.

The term Business Continuity describes a mentality or methodology of conducting day-to-day business, whereas Business Continuity Planning is an activity of determining what that methodology should be. The Business Continuity Plan may be thought of as the incarnation of a methodology that is followed by everyone in an organization on a daily basis to ensure critical functions will continue to exist. 

Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery (DR) is the portion of the Business Continuity (BC) Program, including, policies and procedures related to preparing for recovery or continuation of technology critical to an organization after an incident causes an interruption of any type either natural or man-made. While business continuity involves planning for keeping all aspects of an organization functioning in the midst of disruptive events, disaster recovery focuses on the IT or technology systems that support business functions.

Disaster recovery as a concept developed in the mid to late 1970s as computer center managers began to recognize the dependence of their entire organizations on their computer systems. At that time most systems were batch-oriented mainframes which in many cases could be down for a number of days before significant damage would be done to the organization. This led to a need for faster more efficient recovery procedures, so grew the field of Disaster Recovery.

As IT systems have become increasingly critical to the operation of an organization, the importance of ensuring the continued operation of those systems, or the rapid recovery of the systems, has increased.