Visit the Web sites of professional associations such as the Association of Continuity Professionals and the Business Continuity Institute to learn more about news, trends, and career opportunities in business continuity. An internship or a part-time job with a company that offers services in disaster recovery and business continuity offers opportunities to work with people in the field and gain valuable experience that can be applied to future employment. Look for job listings directly on companies' Web sites, as well as through professional associations. Your school's career services office can also help with researching business continuity companies and setting up an informational interviewer with a continuity planner to find out more about the job.
Business continuity planners help companies prepare for and recover from events that interrupt normal business operations. They work closely with various industries to devise strategies and solutions for businesses to continue functioning, with personnel and assets safe and protected, in the event of disasters. Business could be disrupted by anything from a network outage to a natural event such as a hurricane or an earthquake. Recovery steps may include having staff telecommute and relocating business operations to other facilities that are equipped for normal business functioning.
Business continuity planners conduct risk assessments and business impact analyses to develop recovery procedures and strategies that are most appropriate for the business. To determine if the recovery plans will work, they run mock-disaster exercises and adjust and revise recovery plans based on the results of these exercises.
The job entails gathering information from business managers and staff; financial, insurance, and other types of professionals; and through online research. Planners collect and analyze information and data, using computers and computer systems to study and develop procedures. They use business and data analysis software such as Actuate BIRT and Jaspersoft Business Intelligence Suite. They also use emergency notification system software, data entry software, document management software, and enterprise resource planning software.
Business continuity planners are knowledgeable about business administration and management principles, public safety and security, and media production, communication, and dissemination methods. They work independently and with others to identify how business operations and systems should work, the situations and environments that will affect those functions, and steps that can be taken to overcome these obstacles.