What we mean by “Business Continuity Planning”

Business Continuity Planning is one of those things that has, over the decades, become more and more of an area that seems to be IT’s prerogative. While more and more of your business happens online or on a computer, IT is an important part of your planning. Having said that, IT should only be a part of your planning. Your planning should include other departments such as accounting, your banker and and lines of capital or credit, the telephony vendor just to name a few. It’s not just acts of Nature. It’s more likely to be Bad Actors, Electrical Failure, Physical Security breaches to name a few things.
We are very fortunate to be at another trans formative point in the evolution of business information technology. That being one where the ebb and flow of services and tasks is moving back to the mainframe (err, I mean cloud) and we are able to leverage that redundancy and flexibility to increase our up-time and reduce our downtime.
As we look at all the new options for hosted email, hosted applications, hosted storage, hosted services, hosted servers there is a tendency to presume, erroneously, that those parts of your business are now outside your plan. While that is true in one sense, responsibility lies with the vendor, we still have to determine how to operate without the benefits of that service offering. Do we have local backups of our offsite data? (never thought I’d type that) Are there other vendors lined up that can provide the same service to us?
So, to sum up, Business Continuity Planning is about your whole organization and our role is to evaluate what you have now, how it can be “stood up” or a complementary service put in it’s place and calculating how future infrastructure changes will affect you.