Business Continuity Planning Often Falls Short

January, 2014

The high reliability and availability of modern computing platforms has created a false sense of security among IT professionals. According to Computer Economics’ IT Management Best Practices study, only 75% of IT organizations have a disaster recovery plan and only about half of those organizations claim that their plans are comprehensive and fully implemented.

Too often, disaster recovery is simply an information-technology-led exercise. There is a growing recognition, however, that contingency planning needs to go beyond recovery of IT systems to become a business-led  process that prepares the organization for many forms of disruption and ensures that the business itself—not just the IT systems—will continue uninterrupted.

Figure 1 from our management advisory, A Practical Framework for Business Continuity Planning, illustrates the major activities that comprise business continuity planning:

BC plan Fig 1 - Business Continuity Planning Often Falls Short

Recovering complex business functionality from a catastrophic incident, natural or man-made, is much more difficult than recovering from a server failure or database corruption. The business continuity plan must be maintained and practiced as part of the everyday business operation. Failure to do so may lead to a complete business failure if a critical event occurs that has a direct impact on the business. Even if an organization survives, there is likely to be significant disruption and financial loss. Taking a short-sighted view may mean that although the IT systems may be recovered, the organization itself may go out of business.

The full report provides IT organizations with a practical, concise framework for developing a comprehensive business continuity plan.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our management advisory on this subject, A Practical Framework for Business Continuity Planning. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).