Many companies make the mistake of placing the
entire responsibility for creating, maintaining, and carrying out
business continuity planning (BCP) squarely on the shoulders of its IT pros. While IT should
obviously play an integral role in the BCP process, organizations
shouldn’t expect the IT department to serve as the sole caretaker
of their continuity plans.
An enterprise often falls prey to the
inaccurate assumption that a purely technical solution can provide
everything necessary for its technology infrastructure to recover
from a disaster. While this belief is partially true, the IT
department typically requires the assistance of other departments
within the organization to ensure the DR plan will work
Of course, a company should decide which
departments to involve with BCP according to its own particular
needs. However, in most cases, it’s a best practice to include two
groups from the very start: facilities management and human
Your organization’s facilities management staff
needs to be responsible before, during, and after a disaster for
multiple aspects of BCP. During the planning process, you need to
decide on a specific location to store backup tapes and data
replicas, and you should determine potential areas to set up
recovery hardware and furniture as well as other durable goods that
will facilitate recovery efforts.
During a disaster, facilities management must
make sure employees can get where they need to go, that they have
what they need to work, and that they can get back to the
production facility after the disaster. Without this group of
people, it’s a good possibility you’ll have a great technology
failover plan–and nowhere to implement it.
The HR department needs to make sure you’ll be
able to properly allocate staff, both within the technology
departments and throughout the organization. HR should ensure that
you have the appropriate staff to implement and manage the DR
technical solutions, and it should also make sure you have adequate
staff in the proper locations to manage the actual disaster.
In addition, HR should be the unit responsible
for keeping the organization’s employees and management informed
about what to do in case of emergency, where to report to resume
work, and how to stay in contact.
Failure to include these two groups in your
organization’s BCP process will make life extra difficult if you
ever need to enact these plans. Keep in mind that these are just
the minimum groups to include; according to your particular
circumstances, you may want to include a number of other
departments. In any case, it’s important to remember that IT
shouldn’t be on its own when it comes to BCP.
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