So you have a documented business continuity plan – where do you keep it? How easily could you and / others access it at the time of a major business disruption – let’s say a building fire? As I conduct tabletop exercises for organizations, I am amazed at the number of times the plan is “unavailable” to those that need access to it in order to respond to the event and /or those that have the responsibility to resume critical business functions following the event.
I always “encourage” folks to “keep a paper copy in the office and one at home”, even if it’s only the portion of the plan that pertains to their responsibilities at-time-of-event. Some planners even encourage key people to keep a copy of the plan in their car. Unfortunately, we see people consistently keeping a copy of the plan on a network shared drive or on their personal PC or laptop. For those that keep it on their laptop, my experience is that the majority them do NOT take their laptop home all the time.
So here’s the question for those that retain a copy of the plan on that shared driver or that PC or laptop – what’s the point? If the network is unavailable, even if you have connectivity from home, or your desktop or laptop are part of the event – you don’t have at hand the materials you have spent a considerable time, effort, and even real dollars to develop for the moment.
At IT-Lifeline clients are offered access to a secure portal, that should they have access to the internet, they will be able to access their planning documents. Other BC providers, such as IT-Lifeline, offer the same. But the key here is that organizations must take advantage of the offering.
Take an inventory of those that have or should have access to their planning documents and see if they would indeed have access to those documents at-time-of-event. If not, you will need to make the necessary changes to ensure plan availability when the time comes. Common sense you say – you’re right, but you’d be surprised how many haven’t considered this critical issue.