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Does the business continuity plan encompass“print-to-mail”facilities?

Every day, companies print and mail billions of invoices, financial statements, healthcare documents, payroll checks, and other vital records. These documents are imaged, printed, sorted, and mailed to customers, shareholders, regulatory agencies, employees, and business partners. Remarkably, the facilities, equipment, and systems responsible for performing these critical functions (generically “print-to-mail”) do not enjoy the same business continuity protection as their data center counterparts. According to the Disaster Recovery Journa , nearly 82 percent of backup providers do not support the printing and mailing of bills and statements.

Does the business continuity plan encompass non-IT assets?

Traditionally, business continuity plans have addressed the recovery of

information technology assets. But disasters can claim non-IT assets, such as:

  • Manufacturing plants

  • Vehicles and equipment

  • Research and development

laboratories

  • Raw materials, and

  • Product inventory

Does the business continuity plan address the protection of these non- IT resources? If not, why not?

Does the business continuity plan promote risk mitigation measures?

Since not all disasters can be avoided, part of the business continuity plan should be devoted to lessening the impact of a disaster.

One common device is encouraging the decentralization of critical assets. The plan, for example, should

discourage the creation of large, central file rooms in favor of smaller, more distributed storage sites. In this way, a facility fire could only claim a portion of a company’s vital records. In the case of existing central file rooms, the plan should encourage the deployment of adequate fire detection and suppression equipment.

Does the business continuity plan provide for “disruptions?”

Most business continuity plans cover catastrophic incidents, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, floods, fires, bombings, etc. Most companies, however, will never experience a disaster of these proportions. Instead, they will suffer a series of smaller—but still expensive—disruptions, such as:

  • Power outages

  • Storm-related travel difficulties

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