History Of Business Continuity Planning


In the 1960's organizations began to develop a heavy reliance on automated processes. Prudent operations managers built in contingency capabilities for their systems and duplicated critical data.

In the 1970's US organizations began to develop a heavy reliance on information processing. Information processing was centrally processed in batch mode. Information Systems plans were developed called "Disaster Recovery" plans. Recovery time objectives ranged from days to one or two weeks.

In the 1980's a number of large disasters tested these "Disaster Recovery" plans. These disasters included the Thanksgiving fire at Northwest Financial in Minneapolis, the First Interstate bank fire in Los Angeles and a Department of Defense Processing Center Fire in Oklahoma City. Specialized software for planning was developed and commercial companies began to offer recovery services.

In the 1990's after a decade of large disasters many organizations recognized the need for a complete business recovery plan. What good was their recovered data if functional or business units were not up and operational? The 1990's brought another wave of record-breaking large disasters costing billions of dollars.

In 1992 the Gartner Group released a study showing that 2 out 5 businesses experiencing a disaster never re-open. One of the remaining three businesses will go out of business within 2 years.