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How to Build an ERP Business Continuity Plan

How to Build an ERP Business Continuity Plan

How to Build an ERP Business Continuity Plan

The editors at Solutions Review have outlined the fundamentals of building an ERP business continuity plan to help companies ensure their systems can keep running if disruptions occur.

In today’s fast-paced and interconnected business environment, organizations rely on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to streamline operations and drive efficiency. However, disruptions like natural disasters, cyber-attacks, or global crises can significantly impact the availability and functionality of these critical systems. To mitigate risks and ensure business continuity, companies must develop a comprehensive ERP Business Continuity Plan.

A business continuity plan is a strategy designed to outline how your company will maintain its operations during and after a disruption. While not a foolproof solution to unexpected challenges, having a business continuity plan helps companies proactively manage risks and minimize the downtime disruptions can cause. With that in mind, the Solutions Review editors have outlined the steps companies should take to create a business continuity plan to ensure their ERP system runs as smoothly as possible if (and when) disruptions occur.

How to Build an ERP Business Continuity Plan

1) Identify Critical ERP Components

The first step in creating an ERP Business Continuity Plan is relatively straightforward: identify the crucial components of the ERP system. This involves mapping out all the interconnected modules, integrations, and departments that rely on the solution. From there, you should outline the infrastructure the ERP relies on to continue functioning, as documenting those components will enable you to prioritize recovery efforts and allocate resources effectively during a disruption.

2) Conduct a Risk Assessment

A thorough risk assessment is crucial in understanding an ERP’s potential vulnerabilities and risks. This assessment should include internal and external factors that may impact your ERP, including everything from hardware failures and software glitches to security breaches, natural disasters, and more. By identifying potential risks, you can prepare strategies and countermeasures that, if needed, can mitigate the repercussions they cause.

3) Define Recovery Objectives and Strategies

The next step after developing the risk assessment involves establishing recovery objectives for your ERP system. These objectives should align with your organization’s overall business continuity goals. To do so, you should start by determining the maximum acceptable downtime for each ERP component, the recovery point objective (RPO), and the recovery time objective (RTO). Once these objectives are defined, develop strategies and contingency plans for each component to minimize downtime and restore functionality quickly.

4) Establish Data Backup and Recovery Procedures

Data is the lifeblood of any ERP system, and protecting it is crucial for business continuity. Implementing regular data backup procedures ensures that your company’s internal information is stored securely and makes it easier to recover if and when a disruption occurs. You should consider using offsite backups or cloud-based solutions for enhanced data redundancy and accessibility. And as always, test the backup and recovery processes periodically to validate their effectiveness.

5) Implement Redundancy and Failover Mechanisms

To minimize the impact of system failures, implement redundancy and failover mechanisms within your ERP architecture. This often means employing redundant servers, network infrastructure, and database systems, as these can provide seamless failover capabilities. Additionally, consider deploying load balancers and replication techniques to distribute workloads and maintain system availability during peak usage or failure scenarios.

6) Develop Incident Response and Communication Plans

A well-defined incident response plan is paramount in an ERP disruption as it can minimize the impact and ensure a swift recovery. Get started by establishing a dedicated team responsible for managing incidents and communicating with stakeholders. From there, define the roles, responsibilities, and escalation procedures to relevant departments to streamline incident response efforts. Clear communication channels should also be established with employees, customers, suppliers, and partners to provide timely updates and manage expectations.

7) Test and Update the Plan Regularly

Like any tool, a business continuity plan is only effective if regularly tested, updated, and refined. Conduct comprehensive testing exercises—tabletop simulations and full-scale mock recoveries—to evaluate the plan’s efficacy, identify gaps or weaknesses, and make the necessary adjustments. Additionally, ensure that the program stays up-to-date with your ERP system, infrastructure, or organizational structure changes.


Disruptions can happen anytime and come from anywhere—look at the repercussions countless industries experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic—so it’s critical to build and maintain an ERP business continuity plan to safeguard your organization’s critical systems. By identifying crucial components, conducting risk assessments, defining recovery objectives, implementing redundancy mechanisms, and developing robust incident response and communication plans, you can enhance the resilience of your ERP system in the face of unexpected disruptions.

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