Magazine article Information Management

Book Review: Making a Case for Business Continuity

Magazine article Information Management

Book Review: Making a Case for Business Continuity

Article excerpt

Making a Case for Business Continuity

TITLE: Ready for Anything

PRODUCER: Commonwealth Films


LENGTH: 20 minutes

PRICE: $695 from Commonwealth Films; $637 ARMA members buying from ARMA International

MEDIA: Available in CD-ROM, VHS, PAL, Secam

SOURCES: ARMA International ( and Commonwealth Films Inc. (

Being prepared is not just the Boy Scouts' mantra. As a result of September 11, 2001, those in the United States - and the world learned that the unpredictable and the unthinkable can happen. It is but a coincidence of timing that this new production from Commonwealth Films, "Ready for Anything," should be issued on the heels of the World Trade Center catastrophe. It is, however, an important sensitizing and training tool, and another resource to make the business case for business continuity - a case that senior managers must act upon. It is worth making clear - and the video helps reinforce this - that the chief responsibility of managers is, first and foremost, the protection of the organization's assets, including employees, records, facilities, information systems, and customer relationships. Business recovery is a significant part of that responsibility.

"Ready for Anything" is different in overall strategy from Commonwealth's earlier "Back in Business. " In addition to introducing newer technologies, this new release makes use of a theme emphasizing the successes of a welldeveloped and tested business recovery plan. In contrast, "Back in Business" uses numerous views of devastation, water damage, ruined floppy discs, and other scenes likely to frighten viewers into creating a solution rather persuading them that a business continuity plan is an asset for the future: "We were prepared."

Several examples of an increased sophistication in Commonwealth's new approach to business continuity include

* recognizing the need for in-depth scenario development ("what would we do if ...?") that assumes the possibility of multiple problems arising (e.g., while there may be planning for a flood, one must also foresee and plan for sewer lines breaking from that flood, possibly creating an even larger problem)

* realizing that data backup will not be helpful if the software that created the data has been destroyed as well and is no longer available

* considering newer technologies for data and vital records protection; this might include use of offsite electronic vaulting services instead of the older tape-rotation approach

* recovering from a disaster may take several days or even weeks, so plans for continuous service to customers are required - if one wants to keep customers

* business continuity is everyone's business, not just that of the business recovery team

Among the topics addressed by the program are

* Preventive measures

* Maintaining security

* Evacua on preparation, drills

* Risk assessment in depth

* Formation of a business recovery team

* Employee safety and support (e. …

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