Disaster Recovery Experts Speak Out (continued) - InformationWeek

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Disaster Recovery Experts Speak Out (continued)

THE DISCUSSION (continued)

Where are the problems?
thread by Martin Garvey (02-Nov-01 2:20 PM GMT) What is the greatest impediment to a true business continuity infrastructure at today's company?

Re: Where are the problems?
by Gloria Sharrar (06-Nov-01 1:42 PM GMT) There are at least two components to this issue. One is the way the infrastructure is configured as a group of technologies. The other is the way the organization is set up to support core business processes. Each of these has a full measure of obstacles, but trying to bridge the gaps between an organization's IT and an organization's business functions complicate a business continuity program even further, oftentimes resulting in overlooked interdependencies between the two.

Re: Where are the problems?
by Bob Williamson (06-Nov-01 9:40 PM GMT)

The complexities that Gloria points out highlight what I believe is a critical first step in any organization implementing a business continuity plan, that is doing a complete business continuity needs assessment. By identifying , walking through and prioritizing the business processes which are most critical to be recovered in event of a catastrophe, appropriate planning can then occur and the costs of implementing and not implementing the plan can be computed. With these needs and costs identified, a business decision can be made as to whether or not to move forward with implementation.

This all assumes, of course, that someone has had the foresight to recognize the need for a business continuity infrastructure and to kick off this entire process.

Re: Where are the problems?
by Jason Buffington (08-Nov-01 4:13 AM GMT)

PRIORITIZATION.

Up until September 11th, Business Continuity was something that every responsible I/T manager knew was a good thing - but never had time to consider.

No priority, No budget and No time.

The horrible tragedy in NYC and DC reminded us of how anything is vulnerable to a disaster. That changed our priorities - and budgets and initiatives have followed. But the answer to "greatest impediment to B/C infrastructure" - well meaning executives that have not recognized the priority of ensuring business continuity.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Many CxO's are considered "stewards" (or responsible) for the assets and performance of the company. So, if they do not ensure that the company's data or operations will continue to work, then they actually have not done their job as stewards - like a mechanic that does not ever check tire pressure or dirty oil.

Disasters are not an "IF", but a "WHEN" - so everyone responsible for data or operations must plan for when the outage occurs. Did the CxO really do the company justice by saving $100K on a D/R project, when the company will lose $1M per week or month during an outage?

Re: Where are the problems?
by Bob Williamson (08-Nov-01 3:07 PM GMT)

I agree with Jason that lack of Senior Management prioritization is a primary impediment to BC plans being put in place. So, what can we do? A recent Gartner Consulting reports gives a few pointers:

CREATE GREATER AWARENESS CEOs were aware of the Y2K issue and appropriate priority was given, similar awareness is needed to spur the funding of business continuity plans.

APPEAL TO FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY As Jason points out, these execs are stewards of corporate assets, there is a responsibility to protect the corporate assets; negligence brings high-potential liability.

PERFORM A BIA You've seen me harp on this elsewhere, but doing a Business Impact Analysis is the best way to put a dollar figure exposure on the lack of BC plan.

While there no doubt exists a level of apathy among biz execs around this topic, increased awareness can help to combat. The recent unfortunate events present an opportunity to start a discussion within your own company.

Bob [email protected]

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