Project Management

Continuity Planning & Disaster Recovery: ITIL Style

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

While the business planning process is alive and well in most organizations, disaster recovery and continuity planning is not. Planning for growth and prosperity is much easier than focusing on what to do when things go wrong in a big way.
With the arrival of corporate governance on the scene, publicly traded companies can no longer neglect the need to ensure that the business can survive in virtually any eventuality. Sobering disasters like Katrina and 9/11 have driven home the reality that circumstances well beyond our control can strike at anytime.
The good news is that there is an abundance of resources, tools and frameworks for developing IT related continuity/disaster recovery plans, one of which is contained within ITIL. The Information Technology Infrastructure Library was developed by UK Government (CCTA) and is now part of the Joint Framework for IT Governance. The entire Library covers a multitude of IT related subjects including:
  • Service Support
  • Service Delivery
  • Service Management/Service Level Agreements
  • Security Management
  • Continuity Management/Disaster Recovery
  • Security Risk Analysis
  • ISO 17799 Compliance
This article focuses on the continuity management and disaster recovery component of ITIL, which defines continuity management as …

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"The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage."

- Mark Russell