Business continuity planning is not an IT-only responsibility

IT departments must convince business managers to take a lead in spearheading business continuity planning (BCP) and responsibility for recovery should not rest solely with IT

IT departments must convince business managers to take a lead in spearheading business continuity planning (BCP) and responsibility for recovery should not rest solely with IT

This was the message from Martin Kelmanson, the head of Information and Communications Technology Services (ICTS) at the British Medical Association (BMA).

If they did not, continuity plans that focused on IT could fail, said Kelmanson. He said that IT directors can help educate the business, but because of the pervasiveness of technology, continuity should not be left just to the IT department.

Speaking to an audience of managers at the IT Director’s Forum, he advised attendees to go about setting up a steering committee, incorporating stakeholders from across the business, to take a closer look at some of the assumptions behind their recovery plans, and determine what could prevent plans from being carried out.

“What could scupper your plans and how can you be sure your BCP strategy is correct? Have the events of the last two years changed the game for your company? If you outsource, have your suppliers and partners asked themselves these questions?”

Answering these questions with wider company input would help strengthen any plan, compared with one that lay responsibility solely at IT, said Kelmanson. He recounted the story of his organisation’s experiences on 7 July 2005, when a bomb exploded outside their building in London, and the lessons learned which have contributed to the formation of a much stronger continuity plan.

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