Monday, September 21, 2009


Service continuity is now an expected feature in any organization’s portfolio whether IT or non-IT. In the past, customers were sympathetic and understanding regarding disaster events that unexpectedly disrupted services. However, nowadays, organizations are expected to have accounted and planned for possible disaster events and to prepare and execute continuity plans in the event of the disaster actually occurring. Finally, after the dust clears, the operations should be brought back to a normal state.

IT organizations are expected to manage service continuity and this is generally included in the Service Level Agreements when the services are being negotiated and agreed upon with the customer. An IT Service Continuity Process with a Service Continuity Manager as the process owner should be established to carry out this activity on an ongoing basis. The process should then create a set of IT Service Continuity Plans that support the overall business continuity plans of the organization. The plans should identify possible disaster events and the contingency and continuity activities that should occur if the disaster does strike. Furthermore, the plans should include a description of how a return to normal service operation should occur after the disaster is over and the contingency plan is no longer necessary.

After the creation of the continuity plans, regular Business Impact Analysis (BIA) activities should be carried out to ensure that all the plans are in sync with changes that have been made to the service and organization.

Other activities of the Service Continuity Process include assisting the Change Management in assessing changes for any possible impact to service continuity and working with suppliers and the Supply Management Process to ensure supplies are made during a disaster event.

Of course, during the occurrence of the disaster event, the IT SCM process comes into the forefront and initiates the contingency plan in order to continue service delivery to the customer. Service Continuity monitors the situation until the disaster event subsides and then presides over the transition back to normal operations. To conclude, the process records the success of the continuity event and makes notes for future improvement.

Disaster recovery and service continuity are no longer a luxury but a necessity in today’s market. Organizations must take service continuity seriously in order to maintain customers in the competitive environment we live in now.

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