IT service continuity

What is service continuity?

Service continuity is a process whereby a backup or recovery of a service can be initiated. Service continuity is achieved by the use of a disaster recovery option. Disaster recovery options include, but are not limited to, rollback, rollout error debugging, rollback within a time period, and rollback or failure removal within a service.

What is IT service continuity management (SCM)?

Service continuity management (SCM) is a set of activities which are undertaken by the business end user to make sure that the business processes are protected against failures in the event of a disaster. SCM should be taken as a complement of the disaster recovery options.

Who should be covered by service continuity management?

Business continuity management should be applicable to all business processes where continuity of business processes is a critical part of the business. Furthermore, business continuity management should be applicable to those processes where continuity of business processes is expected.

What is the scope of continuity management?

The scope of continuity management is determined by the context in which it is to be applied. For example, in the IT environment, the scope of the continuity management is:

  • Business continuity management
  • Service Continuity Management
  • Maintenance of a working relationship between the business and IT
  • Maintenance of a working relationship between the business and external parties
  • Supporting and directing the work of the IT service continuity management process

How to identify and select the targets of continuity management?

  • The first activity in the continuity management process is identifying the services and other resources which need to be protected against the end of the service.
  • The second activity is the selection of the protection options.
  • The third activity is the implementation of the risk reduction and recovery options.
  • The fourth activity is a review of the risk reduction and recovery options every 6 – 12 months.








What are the benefits of continuity management?

Consistency is a key component of the overall quality of life for an organization. The following benefits can be gained from the maintenance of a working relationship with the business:

  • Awareness and understanding of the business continuity requirements
  • Reduced cost of doing business
  • Reduced risk to the continued provision of the services
  • Reduced impact of failures on the IT services
  • Increased transparency and accountability in all areas of business
  • Increased availability and reliability
  • Reduced cost of doing business
  • Increased consistency and predictability in all areas of operations
  • Increased availability and reliability for the business recovery process
  • Increased availability and reliability for other business processes

What is the scope of disaster prevention and management?

The scope of disaster prevention and management is determined by the SLAs and policies of the organization. For example, in the case of a power failure, it is acceptable to implement a power-up procedure in an appropriate order of importance based on the importance of the failure. However, in the case of a fire, the organization should establish procedures which will be followed in the event of a fire. The scope of disaster prevention and management is also influenced by the nature of the service and the users of the service. For example, in the case of a call center, the organization would be well served by having a disaster recovery capability in place prior to the time of an incident. In the case of a website, the organization would be better served by having the ability to recover the site and all data within a reasonable time.









What are the inputs and outputs of disaster prevention and Business continuity management?

The inputs and outputs of disaster prevention and management are as follows:

  • Information on potential disaster events is collected in the Annual Information and Documentation Review
  • Implementation and operation of disaster prevention and relief plans are supported by the ITSCM process
  • Testing of disaster prevention and relief plans is carried out through a series of stakeholder engagement processes

What are the key findings from the ITSCM process for better Service continuity management?

The key findings from the ITSCM process are:

  • Implementation of disaster prevention and management plans requires a balanced approach to all stakeholders
    The key areas of collaboration during the lifecycle of the ITSCM process are:
  • Business
  • Maintenance of a working relationship with the business
  • Business continuity management
  • Supporting and directing work between the business and the service
  • IT Service Continuity Management
  • Availability Management
  • Maintain an inventory of all of the services and assets within a service provider and their respective levels of risk
  • Maintain a set of risk reduction and recovery options for all of the services within a service provider
  • Maintain an annual risk assessment and a plan for risk reduction and recovery within the SLAs and policies of the organization
  • Report to the business continuity management (BCM) team any changes in the risk assessment or recovery options
  • Review and audit the business risk assessment and the plans

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