Why IT Managers Need an Information Foundation

December 5, 2018

Business continuity’s responsibilities involve a tremendous amount of data collection and analysis. This includes information from business impact assessments, configuration management databases, application impact analyses, technical impact analyses, and other sources. Everything centers around business processes.

That brings us to the crucial point: every department has business processes, and many of these business processes and required support of these processes cross departmental siloes. For example, if IT updates an application, it can have a direct impact on finance. If vendor management chooses not to renew a contract, it can have ramifications from production to pricing to sales.

Frequently, the existence of siloes means that such connections and interdependencies are not recognized – to the detriment of the business. But, by creating an information foundation and sharing its data across siloes, business continuity can help diverse business functions work together to optimize organizational resiliency and efficiency.

The information foundation can be defined as a single source of truth about business data and business processes that can be shared and accessed across departments and disciplines to improve not only recovery and continuity, but overall organizational resiliency and efficiency. With this as the definition, it is readily apparent that the right software is key to creating, maintaining, and leveraging the information foundation. In a typical organization, IT is tasked with:

  • Providing a redundant, hardened processing environment
  • Protecting systems and data from unauthorized access
  • Ensuring that data and applications are available to meet business process requirements in production
  • Managing current capacity
  • Planning for future capacity
  • Providing for the recovery of systems and applications that support critical business processes in response to a major incident

These priorities may be applied to on-premise environments owned by the business, or toward managing a relationship with an external IT provider or cloud service. The question then becomes, what data does business continuity already have in the information foundation that could support IT with these priorities?

One place where the information foundation can be of assistance is when there is an IT storage upgrade. Take the case where an older storage frame needs to be replaced. Using the shared information foundation, the IT storage team may discover the storage frame is connected to a Linux server and the server supports a critical revenue generating business process. Therefore, the IT storage team will need to work with the Linux team to insure error free operation after the upgrade and work with the process owning business unit to investigate how an upgrade could potentially impact the revenue process should problems be encountered. Representatives from the business unit could also be engaged to validate successful process operation following the upgrade. By collaborating with these other business units, IT can make plans to upgrade the storage in a way that will not generate a negative impact on enterprise operations.

This example shows how, through the information foundation, data concerning process criticality, impacted audiences, teams and contact information, applications used, affected locations, and more are all available to IT to increase production process efficiency and reduce potential undesired ramifications, thereby increasing organizational resiliency.

Learn how to establish your information foundation.