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example, in many cases, buildings are destroyed and sensitive documents are exposed to the elements— including the criminal element. Given the generally chaotic atmosphere that accompanies a recovery effort, normal levels of security should be maintained—even enhanced.

Where is the backup backup site?

Many companies rely on commercial “hot sites” to restore critical IT operations in the event of a data center disaster. The “primary” hot site is frequently located within a hundred miles of the affected facility, enabling ready access by data center personnel.

In the event of a regional disaster, affecting multiple hot site subscribers, the primary site may be unavailable, forcing a company to relocate its operations to a “secondary” site, which may be a thousand miles away. The business continuity plan should allow for this

possibility, discussing, for example, an alternative staffing strategy.

Does the business continuity plan consider mobile computing resources as potential recovery assets?

Most large companies support a network of telecommuters or other distributed workers. Mobile and wireless computing assets can be used to affect a partial, low-cost recovery strategy, and their deployment for that purpose should be explored in the business continuity plan.

Does the business continuity plan provide for the failure of key business partners?

In the world of the “virtual corporation,” it’s not enough for a company to plan for its own recovery. It must also consider the impact of disasters affecting key business partners.

To accomplish this goal, a company’s business continuity plan must:

  • Provide for periodic audits of business partner business continuity plans, and

  • Include recovery plans designed to mitigate the impact of a major business partner failure

Typically, a business partner recovery plan consists of identifying an alternate source supplier, and establishing a procedure for engaging that supplier if the need arises.

Does the business continuity plan encompass non-electronic records?

In case you missed the memo, paper documents still account for a sizable portion of a company’s vital records. The business continuity plan should address the preservation and restoration of paper, or other hardcopy material, probably by means of electronic document imaging.

When the old answers don’t address the new issues, it’s time to

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