Business Continuity is the activity performed by an organization to ensure that critical business functions will be available to customers, suppliers, regulators, and other entities that must have access to 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 refers to those activities performed daily to maintain service, consistency, and recoverability.
The foundation of Business Continuity are the policies, guidelines, standards, and procedures implemented by an organization. All system design, implementation, support, and maintenance must be based on this foundation in order to have any hope of achieving Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery, or in some cases, system support. Business continuity is sometimes confused with disaster recovery, but they are separate entities. Disaster recovery is a small subset of business continuity.