Business Continuity: Records and Information Management

4 Feb

My previous blog looked at how a BCP focuses on core business units and functions, however Jones (2011), maintains that Records and Information Management (RIM) are rarely acknowledged in an organisations overall BCP, and that it needs to be included at least as part of a subsidiary plan. (1. Jones, 2011)

RIM has a crucial part to play in most aspects of disaster recovery. Records and information are a fundamental resource for any company, not only in terms of on-going business, but even more so in the event of an incident. Firstly to protect records, organisations need to complete an inventory of all data and information stored. Secondly, organisations need to classify their records; this ultimately insures a timely return to operations in the event of a disaster. Next a vital records program is crucial. This step allows an organisation to identify which records are mission critical and are most needed in the event of an incident.  Fourthly, a document that outlines the specific RIM policies for an organisation again assists in identifying which records are of crucial importance. (1.Jones, 2011).

A BCP needs to include an assessment of the costs, resources and time associated with recovering organisational records. Understanding how information/data/ records are used within an organisation, is crucial towards establishing a BCP. A tiny percentage of a company’s records are considered vital, most information however is considered important, this is due to the fact that most of these records can be recreated or recovered through other means, or are generally useful for the day to day running of the business, however they are not crucial to the resumption of the running of business. (2. Arma International).

According to an article by Wolff (1985), “An effective vital records management program includes descriptions of all vital records necessary to protect assets and ensure continuity of business operations, documentation of procedures and practices followed to protect and restore these records, and adequate operating instructions to permit the effective use of selected records in an emergency.” (3. Wolff, 1985 (in Jones, 2011)).

This blog has outline how important RIM is. What do others think? Should this form a fundamental part of an organisations business continuity management and overall plan?

1. Jones, V. (2011), ‘How to Avoid Disaster: RIM’s Crucial Role in Business Continuity Planning’, Information Management, November/December.

2. Arma International,  accessed on 4/02/2013, available at  http://www.arma.org/rim/101/articles.cfm?key=rim101disaster

3. Wolff (1985), in Jones, V. (2011), ‘How to Avoid Disaster: RIM’s Crucial Role in Business Continuity Planning’, Information Management, November/December.

One Response to “Business Continuity: Records and Information Management”

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  1. A 3-Stage Business Continuity Framework | So Opinionated ... - February 22, 2013

    […] occurs within the company. Examples include interruption to supply chain, security breaches, and data loss. As a company evolves other internal threats may become a bigger risk to the company, for example […]

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