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Book Review: Business Continuity

Rothstein Publishing;; 464 pages; $99.99.

Those practicing in the disaster recovery and business continuity fields have benefited for more than 40 years from the experience and expertise of Jim Burtles via top-drawer training and guidebooks. Now semi-retired, he continues to contribute to the field by authoring the second edition of Principles and Practice of Business Continuity: Tools and Techniques.

The book begins by enumerating six areas upon which business continuity must focus: loss of access, people, supplies, communications, function, and data. The first three involve physical disruptions; the rest involve technical disruptions. Burtles explains each and what its impact could be on a business. Then he sets forth roadmaps for preparation and responses to deal with them. Step-by-step, he provides strategies, decision-making criteria, options, and other tools required for proactive business recovery planning and response.

Burtles clearly demonstrates how business continuity planning fits within a larger emergency planning context, including risk management, crisis management, emergency response, business recovery, and other disciplines that together form a comprehensive whole. Concentrating on the business recovery area, Burtles takes readers from preparation through planning, response, and recovery–emphasizing the need for resilience and how that applies to corporate governance.

The book is intended to educate–regardless of the reader’s experience and background. It serves as a primer, a textbook, a reference, and a practical guide from planning and preparation to recovery.


Reviewer: Mayer Nudell, CSC (Certified Security and Safety Consultant), is an independent consultant on crisis management, contingency planning, and related issues. He is an adjunct professor at Webster University and a member of ASIS. He is a coauthor of The Handbook for Effective Emergency and Crisis Management.