In IT, as in many other areas of business, a business continuity plan (BCP) ensures the survival of the company following a disaster that has had a major impact on the organization’s IT system. It serves to minimize data loss through strategic risk mitigation measures, with the primary aim of restarting business as quickly as possible with as much hardware as possible.

How do I draw up an IT continuity plan and identify the risks?

To establish an IT continuity plan that is truly adapted to the requirements and realities of your own business, it must be based on a comprehensive analysis of the risks and possible impacts on your IT system.

Risk analysis

IT risk analysis involves clearly identifying the threats that could impact a company’s IT system. These threats are then used to identify the risks to the organization’s business. These risks may be internal or external to the company, due to hardware or IT problems, or to deliberate or inadvertent human error. By means of a table or any other diagram that enables risks to be properly identified, we can then measure the level of impact of each risk on the organization. From the idea of a table then follows the need to prioritize risks in order to find mitigation measures for the most significant risks to a company. If we’re talking about a computer breakdown that could slow down the whole organization, we’ll try to find mitigation measures for this risk as a priority. In the case of computer breakdowns, for example, we can invest in a high-quality IT system, or in the presence of a competent IT specialist within the organization who will be able to deal with breakdowns quickly. Of course, and especially in IT, there is no such thing as zero risk, and a residual risk always remains.

Contents of an IT continuity plan (PCA)

  • Organizational context: concerns a company’s field of activity, obligations and objectives. This context can be detailed with a list of the activities carried out to achieve the objectives.
  • Detailed and prioritized risks: as previously mentioned, IT risks must be perfectly identified, detailed and prioritized in an IT BCP. Scenarios can be designed to explain the risks, analyze them, and finally come up with an approach to managing and mitigating these risks.
  • Business continuity strategy: for each of the organization’s essential activities, a strategy must be put in place to ensure continuity in the event of damage, right through to the resumption of activity on a regular basis with IT equipment.
  • The role of those responsible for each activity: the BCP must contain a section defining the role of those responsible for each essential activity in the event of a major crisis. It must also specify the time, financial and technical resources required to restore the IT system.
  • Designing a verification system: set up a well-functioning system for verifying and monitoring the achievement of BCP data.

All organizations, and in particular all heads of organizations, must undertake to draw up an IT continuity plan whenever their activity is linked to an IT system. In particular, you can mandate a company specialized in IT and the design of an IT continuity plan to carry out this important task, which will ensure the smooth running of your business at all times.