How do you consider Business Continuity Disaster Recovery?

Many businesses IT professional services employ very few people that do not have network experience or certification and therefore cannot properly manage all concerned areas and focus on viruses and other external threads.

Do you share this view? How do you advise such businesses?


Opened by Antoine Fournier, Head of ECM, Input and Output management, Zurich Insurance
Jul 4, 2013.

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Andrew S. Baker Virtual CIO (Expert Technology Consulting Services), BrainWave Consulting Company, LLC
Jul 5, 2013

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Although it is changing because of increased IT involvement in all areas of business, most IT professionals understand what is needed for Disaster Recovery of business systems, but that is only a subset of the Business Continuity landscape.

A BCP plan has to account for not only the systems, but the people. More importantly, it has to account for how the people will be able to access the systems, depending on whether or not it is the systems or the people (or both) that have been displaced by the disaster in question.

Many organizations today are staffed for daily operations -- just barely. Contingencies are handled very haphazardly because little time is given to thinking about them in advance. This accounts for the lack of hiring people who are well versed in BCP and DR.

One recommended way to advise such businesses is to provide for them common scenarios out of the news -- situations and events that have happened to other organizations, whether similar to their organization or not. They key is to get past the typical resistance that senior managers have to considering hypothetical events.

Once they have accepted the fact that the scenarios in question are valid, ask them what their mitigation strategy is. (After they tell you what it is, supposedly, ask for it in writing. 9 times out of 10, they don't have anything current in writing).

Cross reference what they believe the strategy is with what the various business units -- including IT -- think the strategy is.

Many organizations do not realize that Business Continuity is a *business* problem, not an IT problem, so you might have to educate them about that as well.

From there, how you advise them will depend upon how they have answered...

-ASB: http://XeeMe.com/AndrewBaker

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