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The objectives of a BCP are to minimize financial loss to the institution, continue to serve customers and financial market participants, and mitigate the negative effects disruptions can have on an institutionâ€™s strategic plans, reputation, operations, liquidity, credit quality, market position, and ability to remain in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
He holds an MBA from Columbia University and a Master's in computer science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
He has held jobs at CMP Media, Met Life, and Gartner.
Key to any BCP is an impact analysis differentiating between critical and non-critical functions.
A function may be considered critical if the implications for stakeholders or damage to the organization are regarded as unacceptable.
BCP requirements within a firm can vary from application to application.
In financial services, applications deemed critical require a high available and redundant architecture to meet ever-demanding service level agreements.
Ten Steps to An Effective Business Continuity Plan Step 1 â€“ Define strategy objectives by performing needs analyses and create a framework for strategy implementation Step 2 â€“ Determine the business value of the organizationâ€™s applications and define recovery objectives through data risk and recovery time profiles Step 3 â€“ Match technologies for safeguarding data, including backup, disaster recovery, vaulting, snapshot and replication, based upon business value Step 4 â€“ Define infrastructure and personnel plans, including organizational and communications processes Step 5 â€“ Implement technologies and educate critical personnel as to which business processes are impacted Step 6 â€“ Test the documented plan continuously and under different circumstances Step 7 â€“ Measure and validate test results relative to the planâ€™s overall objectives Step 8 â€“ Implement required enhancements that have been prioritized as a result of continuous testing and evaluation Step 9 â€“ Continuously review and enhance the business continuity plan to reflect organizational changes, fluctuating business conditions and the addition of new technologies Step 10 â€“ Finally, remember to repeat the entire process continuously.
Andrew Miller is a freelance writer specializing in financial services and information technology.
The threat of pandemics, in particular an outbreak of influenza caused by the bird flu virus, is causing many financial institutions to update their BCPs.
Citibankâ€™s action plan, outlined in a July 2006 presentation by Greg Gist, senior policy advisor in Citibankâ€™s Office Of Business Continuity, includes a pandemic preparedness plan, headed by a Pandemic Preparedness Task Force consisting of senior staff from each region.