Misc

Funding your IT disaster recovery program

By Paul Kirvan, CISA, CISSP, FBCI, CBCP

There are three ways to fund disaster recovery (DR)/business continuity (BC) planning for an organization: corporate funding, business unit funding, or information technology funding. When funding your disaster recovery program, the key questions to be answered are:

  • Who should fund your disaster recovery program?
  • What should be funded?
  • How much should be invested now, next year and five years ahead?
  • How should we continue justifying the ongoing investment in BC/DR?

Senior management's support for disaster recovery and business continuity activities extend beyond simply agreeing to a business continuity plan/policy and initial funding. Management support must include development of the infrastructure that supports the policy, ongoing maintenance of the overall program and ongoing provision of resources (e.g., financial and human).

Controlling IT disaster recovery costs: A DR budget guide
An introduction to controlling IT disaster recovery and business continuity planning costs

Funding your IT disaster recovery program

Disaster recovery checklist: What you need in your DR budget

Disaster recovery template: A free downloadable DR budget guide

A lot of the discussion that goes into disaster recovery planning focuses on how much of a company's overall budget, or an IT department's budget, should address disaster recovery and business continuity. Generally the average is about 0.1% for disaster recovery, and about 1% to 3% for business continuity. Regrettably, many budget items have higher priorities than business continuity, so it is not surprising that some organizations are reducing spending or not budgeting for BC/DR at all.

Spending on preparations for events that may never occur is often difficult to justify in view of many other demands. Companies that rarely or occasionally experience operational disruptions may have added difficulty justifying the investment. The hope is that payback from BC/DR investments will never be needed. But having a plan can determine which companies will survive in the long run.

Which departments budget for disaster recovery and business continuity?

An age-old debate focuses on which internal department houses BC/DR. If BC/DR is not budgeted separately in its own department, then other possible departments that have been known to budget for BC/DR include risk management, information technology, information security, facilities management, operations, emergency management, administration, finance/accounting and strategic planning.

Click here to go to the next part in our guide and read about a disaster recovery checklist: What you need in your DR budget.

This was first published in March 2010

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