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Volume 31, Issue 4

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Wednesday, 14 November 2018 17:20

Continuity of Operations Does Not Mean Business Continuity

Written by  ABRAHAM BINDER

In the field of emergency management, the concepts of continuity of operations (COOP) and business continuity management (BCM) are used interchangeably, as if they are two names for the same thing. They are not. There are some fundamental differences between the two operations which are worth examining for the sake of clarity, role definition, and planning methodology. It is not just semantics; there is a practical value in understanding whether an organization needs a COOP or BCM program. The difference can have some real impacts on the recoverability and resilience of the organization. COOP It starts with the origins of the two disciplines. COOP originated with emergency management. Modern-day emergency management started as civil defense. Civil defense tried to protect Londoners from bombs in World War II, organizing shelters and enforcing blackouts. When the post-WWII Cold War period started, plans for protecting communities from disasters centered around another human-manufactured disaster: nuclear