I was having lunch on Friday with a friend who works at RIM (BlackBerry) and he made an interesting comment that I thought captures a lot of what the business world has become. He said, “Everyone expects their email to work all the time. Even if they are a summer student, if their BlackBerry doesn’t work for 5 seconds… they freak out!” I thought this was interesting on a couple levels. First, I realize RIM makes the BlackBerry, but why does every summer student “need” a BlackBerry? And second, has everyone’s expectations of systems/services gone up that much?
Let’s sit back and think about the above statement when it comes to your business. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery planning is based on getting critical services/systems back online as soon as possible to ensure the business suffers the least impact possible. Increasingly we are seeing email/blackberry as part of this critical systems bucket. Are you willing to make getting email back to your summer/intern employees a priority? Or are you going to focus on more important business functions?
Understanding what is a critical system, who uses this critical system and how it “really” impacts your business is a must when developing a realistic plan. The ability to triage your workload is the key to success when it comes to actually performing the recovery.
Keep this in mind when you are doing your next exercise:
1. What systems/services will impact my (company’s) ability to deliver our product/service?
2. What do I (we) need to do to protect that ability?
3. How much money (or time) am I willing to commit to that protection?
It sounds simple, but it rarely is, as the internal politics of all business will pull you and your team in directions you really don’t want to go!
How do we avoid this?
Be sure you have a complete Threat Risk Assessment, Business Impact Analysis and finally real numbers to back up why you can’t focus all of your attention to supporting email and blackberry to all the summer interns. Once your senior management looks at the cost in dollars and time, they should understand why you couldn’t have everything backed up in 5 seconds without a budget to match!
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