Establishing an IT Continuity Plan: How to Identify the Risks
In IT, as in many other fields of business, a business continuity plan (BCP) makes it possible to ensure the company’s survival after a disaster that has had a serious impact on the organization’s IT system. It helps reduce data loss as much as possible through strategic risk mitigation measures, with the primary goal of restarting the business quickly with as much computer hardware as possible.
How to establish an IT continuity plan and identify the risks
To establish an IT continuity plan that’s really tailored to the realities and requirements of your business, this must be done based on a comprehensive analysis of the risks and possible impacts on your IT system.
IT risk analysis involves clearly identifying the threats that can impact a company’s computer system. From these threats, the risks to the organization’s business must then be identified. The risks we’re talking about here may originate from within the company or outside it, and they may be due to a hardware and computer problem or intentional or unintentional improper human handling. By using a table or any other diagram that can identify risks, the impact level of each risk on the organization can then be measured. From the idea of a table arises the need to rank the risks in order to find the most important risk mitigation measures for a company. If we’re talking about a computer failure that could slow down the entire organization, we will try to find measures to mitigate this risk as a priority. In the case of computer breakdowns, for example, we can invest in a quality computer system or in the presence of a competent IT specialist within the organization who will be able to deal with these breakdowns quickly. Of course, especially in IT, zero risk doesn’t exist, and a residual risk always remains. That’s why the continuity plan must also contain coverage for risks by several different means in parallel, such as insurance or risk acceptance.
The content of an IT continuity plan
- The context of the organization: concerns the field of business, the obligations, and the goals of a company. This context can be detailed with a list of activities carried out to achieve the goals.
- The risks detailed and ranked: As mentioned above, the IT risks must be perfectly identified, detailed, and ranked in an IT-related BCP. Scenarios can be designed to explain and analyze the risks in order to find some management and mitigation approach for these risks.
- The business continuity strategy: For each of the activities that are essential to the organization, a continuity strategy must be implemented in case of damage, until the activity resumes on a regular basis with the computer equipment.
- The role of the people responsible for each activity: The BCP must contain a section that defines the role of the people responsible for each essential activity in the event of a major crisis. It must also specify the prescribed time and the financial means or techniques required to restore the computer system.
- Designing a verification system: implementing a well-functioning verification and control system for the realization of the data from the BCP.
All organizations, and especially all heads of organizations, must commit to establishing an IT continuity plan as soon as their activity is linked to a computer system. In particular, you can assign a company that specializes in IT and in designing IT continuity plans to carry out this important task that is reassuring for the proper functioning of your professional activity at all times.