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Contingency planning is the process by which plans are put in place to ensure that IT Services can recover and continue should a serious incident occur. It is not just about reactive measures, but also about proactive measures - reducing the risk of a disaster in the first instance.
Contingency planning is so important that many organisations will not do business with IT service providers if contingency planning is not practiced within the service providerís organisation. It is also a fact that many organisations that have been involved in a disaster where their contingency plan failed, ceased trading within 18 months following the disaster.
Contingency planning is regarded as the recovery of the IT infrastructure used to deliver IT Services, but many businesses these days practice the much further reaching process of Business Continuity Planning (BCP), to ensure that the whole end-to-end business process can continue should a serious incident occur.
Contingency planning involves the following basic steps:
- Prioritising the businesses to be recovered by conducting a Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
- Performing a Risk Assessment (aka Risk Analysis) for each of the IT Services to identify the assets, threats, vulnerabilities and countermeasures for each service.
- Evaluating the options for recovery
- Producing the Contingency Plan
- Testing, reviewing, and revising the plan on a regular basis
Contingency Planning Information & Resources
A number of portals exist which offer guidance upon the topic of contingency planning:
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