Organisations should focus their business continuity plans on maintaining services, rather than restoring buildings and IT systems, a conference on the subject will be told this week.
BT, which is responsible for a key part of the critical national infrastructure, will tell delegates at the Business Continuity Expo how it has revamped its plans.
"We realised that we had restoration priorities that would not restore services as quickly as we could. Recovery plans were not about restoring the service, but about restoring the infrastructure," said BT business consultant Justin Clark.
BT tested the new model of business continuity planning against the old model and found it had "vastly reduced" the costs of restoring services to customers and cut recovery time.
The Post Office, which will also be presenting at the conference, said firms could benefit by extending this approach to key suppliers to ensure they work to the same plan if a disaster occurs.
The Post Office aims to reach agreements with up to 20 of its key suppliers to work to the same business continuity plans by the end of the year. The organisation has already reached agreements with IBM and EDS.
"We are taking a collaborative approach to make sure our suppliers understand our business, understand our business drivers, and are driven by the same desire to keep the service running as we are," said Dave Hulbert, service manager at the Post Office.
"We work to the same timframes, and we know when it is right to escalate a problem to director level," he said.