The rise and rise of IT continuity:
Information systems remain the number one mission critical priority for most businesses.
David Honour explains why this is so and looks at the key priorities in this area.
The discipline of business continuity emerged from the primordial swamps of computer disaster recovery. In the early days most companies simply ensured that data was backed up regularly. Larger enterprises normally utilised centralised mainframes which were supported through hot, or warm site recovery centre contracts. However, although some of the business continuity solutions remain current, the nature and complexity of the systems that need protecting have changed vastly.
According to recent research by the Business Continuity Institute and the Chartered Management Institute information systems remain the number one mission critical priority for most businesses. A survey published in March found that 79 percent of the business continuity plans of UK organisations cover IT functions; far in advance of any other area. Finance came second in importance (57 percent) followed by facilities management (53 percent) , human resources (53 percent) and security (51 percent). There are a variety of reasons why the protection of information systems is of such vital importance:
The importance of data
Data is the lifeblood of information systems, which, in turn, are the lifeblood of most organisations. Yes, people are incredibly important assets to businesses, but few firms would go out of business due to the loss of an employee, however highly valued. Many more companies would go out of business if they irretrievably lost critical information. According to the National Archives & Records Administration in Washington, 93 percent of companies that lose their data centre for 10 days or more due to a disaster file for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. Even short periods of downtime can be very costly."