A strategy for survival: developing a sound business continuity plan.
Published on September 26, 2008
By Taveesak Saengthong Country Manager : Thailand, HITACHI DATA SYSTEMS
Q: Why is business continuity planning critical in todays business context?
A: Fast and continuous access to information is critical in todays non-stop business environment
where just-in-time delivery, global supply chains and round-the-clock customer service are the
order of the day. When the systems that store and process this information are disrupted, the
consequences can be serious.
The Meta Group estimates lost revenue from downtime at an average of US$1 million an hour,
while Contingency Planning Research says losses go as high as US$6.45 million an hour for retail
In recent years, the issue of data protection has also taken on a legal dimension as more and
more regulations are enacted to ensure information integrity. United States regulations on data
protection now apply to healthcare (HIPAA), financial services (SEC 17a-4), corporate
accountability (Sarbanes-Oxley Act), life sciences (21 CFR Part 11), and government (DoD
5015.2-STD). These impact not only businesses in the US, but also the vast majority of companies
around the world that have dealings with the worlds largest economy.
Juxtaposed against these business imperatives is the reality that system disruption cannot be
totally eliminated. Its causes are varied: they range from human error, system malfunction and
hacking incidents to disasters such as the 9/11 attacks and the devastating Asian tsunami of 2004.
Less frequently mentioned, but no less of a concern in todays 24x7 business, is the need to
manage the planned downtime required for routine maintenance activities.
The challenge for businesses, therefore, is to ensure that they are able to restart operations as
quickly as possible after a disruption. In recent years, these concerns have pushed business
continuity planning to the top of the corporate agenda.
Q: How do you develop a busines