A common mistake by most organizations is the statement; “we have an IT DR Plan, we are all ok”; This can be misleading as it is also essential that a Business Continuity Plan is implemented for critical personnel, key business processes, recovery of vital records, critical supplier identification, key vendors as well as clients.
Business Continuity Planning ensures that an organization puts in place processes and procedures that allow essential business functions to continue to operate during and after a disaster. The IT DRP only delivers technology services to the desk of employees. It is then up to business units working together with IT to develop subsequent continuity plans for critical business functions.
Let’s consider the following scenario (Extract from “Guide to Business Continuity Management – Frequently Asked Questions, Third Edition, Protiviti Risk and Business Consulting”):
“A deadly monster storm hits heavily populated areas on the East Coast, leaving in its wake devastation and chaos. Now consider the effects on two information technology (IT) data centers that lie in the path of that dramatic weather event.
The company operating Data Center A has a robust business continuity plan, (BCP) in place which includes focusing attention on proactive measures for responding to and addressing the short and long-term effects of a disaster. In this case, the data center went to generator power before the power outage occurred. Its facilities remained fully staffed thanks to advanced resource planning and were operating as usual until utility power was restored and stable a few days later. The data center never went offline and there was no disruption in service.
Data Center B, meanwhile, had only an ad hoc BCP with poorly defined response measures. It lost electricity and remained offline for several days. There was significant disruption to its services. Several clients viewed this as a weakness and elected to make changes to their data center environment.”
No one can predict for certain the next disaster or business disruption; hence organizations should consider preparing for the inevitable by integrating Business Continuity Management, BCM with their enterprise risk management efforts.
Business Continuity Plan versus Disaster Recovery Plan; http://www.standbyconsulting.com/continuity-planning/bcp-vs-drp
Guide to Business Continuity Management – Frequently Asked Questions, Third Edition, Protiviti Risk and Business Consulting Internal Audit