Disaster plans offer opportunity

IT departments can boost their standing within organisations by taking ownership of the company's business continuity plans,...

IT departments can boost their standing within organisations by taking ownership of the company's business continuity plans, according to business security guru Jim Burtles, who spoke at Tif's annual convention recently.

"In the wake of 11 September, business continuity is back on the agenda," said Burtles. "And where does business continuity start? In IT of course - they are project-orientated and forever planning what to do if it all goes wrong."

Burtles pointed out that because of the relative immaturity of businesses' disaster recovery function most companies do not have anyone dedicated to business continuity. He believes this gap presents an opportunity for IT to influence the rest of the business.

"IT should grab this responsibility and run with it," said Burtles. "It will mean thinking beyond the remit of IT and spotting the business continuity gaps in other parts of the business. But if you want to be a big boy you have to see the business as a whole.

"In today's organisations there are not many places that IT can go to get extra gravitas. But taking responsibility for protecting the whole of the business is a realistic addition to the IT portfolio."

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