Secondary Blocks

Business continuity

This guide explains the different parts that make up the business continuity block.


Business continuity

A business continuity clause in a contract necessitates that a party formulates, initiates, and upholds a systematic strategy designed to maintain the execution of critical functions in the face of considerable disruption or catastrophe. This systematic strategy is commonly known as a Business Continuity Plan (BCP).

This clause usually delineates the essential components of the BCP, which may include a disaster recovery plan, a communication protocol, and the assignment of responsibilities. It may also stipulate regular testing and updating of the BCP to ensure its effectiveness. The clause often clarifies that the failure to implement a BCP could constitute a breach of contract. Moreover, it might prohibit a party from invoking the force majeure clause for relief if the disruption could have been circumvented by implementing the measures set forth in the BCP.

Consider a scenario in which a cloud service provider company, referred to as the “Provider”, delivers cloud services to another business, the “Client”. Their agreement incorporates a business continuity clause that mandates the Provider to devise a contingency plan in case of a service disruption due to events such as natural disasters, cyber-attacks, or power outages.

As per the BCP, the Provider possesses backup servers situated at an alternate location. If their primary data center experiences an outage, they can promptly switch to these backup servers, ensuring continuous operation of the cloud service. They also have an established communication strategy to keep the Client informed about the situation and the remedial steps being undertaken. They regularly test these protocols to confirm their effectiveness.

Absent the business continuity clause and the BCP, a disaster could lead to a prolonged shutdown of the Provider’s cloud services, resulting in significant issues for the Client. However, with the clause and the BCP, the Provider is well-equipped to recover swiftly from the disaster, ensuring minimal disruption to their service. If the Provider neglects to implement the BCP as agreed, it might face legal ramifications. Thus, the inclusion of the BCP clause in the contract safeguards uninterrupted tech services, thereby mitigating risks and fostering trust between the contracting parties.


Creation of the BC Plan

This part of the block requires the Provider to have a written Business Continuity Plan (BCP) that outlines procedures for keeping the tech services running during any disaster or other disruptions, including events of force majeure. It also requires the Provider to have procedures for restoring the functionality of the services promptly after any such event. The purpose of this part is to ensure that the Provider is prepared to handle disruptions and can minimize downtime, which is critical in a tech contract because downtime can significantly impact the client’s operations.

Industry standards requirement

This part requires the Provider to include procedures in the BCP that are at least as protective as the industry standard and to update the BCP as the industry standard changes. The purpose here is to ensure that the BCP is effective and up-to-date with current best practices. In the tech industry, threats and technology are constantly evolving, so it’s important for the BCP to evolve as well.

System failure and force majeure

This part provides that any failure of the tech services will not be excused under the force majeure provisions if the failure could have been avoided by adhering to the obligations in the business continuity block. The purpose of this part is to ensure that the Provider fully implements and follows the BCP. It can also protect the client by preventing the Provider from avoiding liability for a service failure by claiming it was due to a force majeure event when it could have been avoided with a proper BCP.

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