Business Continuity: Secondary Protocols

4 Feb

I have already covered the need for BCP tests to ensure their reliability. They are important to test all possible areas that could fail, and assign relevant responsibilities. However, testing is not 100% guaranteed to prevent disaster. In some cases, it can be important to ensure that there are procedures in place should failover systems (systems that are put in place when the general system is affected by disaster) not function in the way there were supposed to (Continuity Central).

It’s important to recognise the relevance of secondary protocols, and how these remain a fundamental part of any business continuity plan or framework. Some attribute the lack of attention given to these protocols to financial difficulties, as some companies’ budgets fall short in distributing enough funding to fulfil the requirements of a thorough and reliable BCP (Vizard, 2008).

However, it can also be argued that simple designated “back-ups” can become redundant themselves, and can prove an unnecessary expense. One company that has overcome such an issue is the Oklahoma division of US Company 7-Eleven. In order to control their inventory system, they have opted to use Aerozone’s wireless system which will allow all locations to become inter-dependent. If one were to fail, they could rely on one of the other functioning locations, and repairing the issue wouldn’t require a specialist to go to that specific branch. This has led to widespread savings across the company, meaning that any budgetary constraints would no longer become an issue (Aerohive).

Example: Blackberry

These secondary protocols are just another aspect of BCP that must be considered in order to ensure full confidence in business survival. RIM (Blackberry’s controlling company) poorly conceived secondary protocols caused huge amounts of downtime for Blackberry customers in October 2011. This caused a massive amount of back-data and cost the company a lot of time and funding (Continuity Central).

Similarly to testing, records information management, and crisis definition, secondary protocols will be an imperative aspect of our BCP framework.

Vizard, Michael (2008) “why there’s no business continuity” Baseline; Sep2008, Issue 88, p18-18, 1p


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