Keywords: business continuity planning, BCP, reliability, simulation, risk assessment, risk modelling, failure probability
Using reliability and simulation models in business continuity planning
Business continuity planning is a process to ensure that an organisation can continue to function effectively and resiliently when faced with crisis events. A key phase of the process is risk analysis, which involves identifying events, determining causes, and estimating probabilities and impact. In this paper we focus on estimating probabilities. Current practice often relies on ad hoc methods such as questionnaires or perusing historical records. We ground our discussion in concepts of reliability theory (used successfully over the years in estimating failure probabilities for physical systems) and simulation modelling. We develop and exercise some elementary models to illustrate the power of using these analytical methods.