IT management and business continuity

IT management is crucial in safeguarding an organizations information and business continuity. The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), is used to aid the implementation of a framework to manage IT services, one of which is IT Service Management (ITSM).

This framework defines how Service Management is applied within specific organizations. As a framework, it is completely customizable for use within any type of business that has a heavy reliance on IT infrastructure. Although the British government created ITIL, it has rapidly been adopted across the world as the standard for best practices in the provision of IT service.

The ITIL consists of seven sets:

• Service Support• Service Delivery• Planning to Implement Service Management;• ICT Infrastructure Management• Applications Management• Security Management• The Business Perspective

The main focus of IT management is generally divided into two main areas; Service Support and Service Delivery. Together, these two main areas comprise the disciplines that embrace provision and management of effective IT services.

Continuity management principles are addressed in the Service Delivery category. In addition to continuity management, the following four principles also are addressed:

1. Service Level Management

2. Capacity Management

3. Availability Management

4. IT Financial Management

From an ITIL perspective, continuity management is the process by which plans are put in place and managed to ensure that IT Services can recover and continue should a serious incident occur. Not just focused on reactive measures, ITIL addresses proactive measures as well, with the objective of reducing the risk of a disaster.

ITIL’s Continuity Management is regarded as the recovery of the IT infrastructure used to deliver IT Services, but many businesses rely on this framework to assist with the design and implementation of the more all-encompassing process of BCP, ensuring the end-to-end business environment can continue shoulda serious incident occur.

Continuity management involves the following basic steps:

• Prioritizing core business processes and IT applications that must be recovered by conducting a Business Impact Analysis (BIA)

• Performing a Risk Assessment (Risk Analysis) for each core business function and IT service, to identify the assets, threats, vulnerabilities and controls in place for each service

• Evaluating the options for recovery

• Producing the continuity plan

• Testing, reviewing and revising the plan on a regular basis IT management services requires periodical appraisal to ensure efficiency.

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