The Proof is in the Paper, on TV
FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF ED DEVLIN
As I begin to write one of my final columns, I think back to when I first became involved with the BCP industry. I remember presenting the concept of “Disaster Recovery Planning” at the first seminar my company sponsored on Dec. 4, 1973. The initial discussions of the seminar
covered the following:
u What is a disaster recovery plan?
u Why should you have one?
u How do you develop one?
u What are the pitfalls in planning & implementation?
way was justifying the cost to develop and document a viable
Most executives focused on preventing a disaster, not recover-
ing from a disaster. Their opinion was: “It will never happen.”
Why spend money and time on something that would never
happen. And then they would add the additional thought, “And if
it does happen, it won’t happen to us.”
Now the stories in the newspapers and on television prove that
it can happen.
As I write this article, we’re still unsure of the final count of
people killed in the Joplin, Mo., tornado. Last month, Tuscaloosa,
Ala., was struck with a massive tornado. As we see what’s occur-
ring around the world, the biblical floods in Australia, the mas-
sive earthquake in Japan, with the resulting tsunami, followed by
the nuclear plant meltdown, I can’t help but think that executives
must finally change their thinking and realize that “It can happen
This change in thinking should result in a reversal of the cur-
rent policy of cutting the DR/BCP budget to a policy of approving
an increase to the budget for DR/BCPs. Especially the budget for
the exercising of these plans to insure that they will work “when”
something happens to their organization.
By ED DEVLIN, CBCP
Then the step by step discussions of the seminar revolved
around a company’s policy for the following three items:
Finally, the discussions moved to items such as:
u Responsibility plan (individuals responsibilities during a recovery
u Application priorities
u System requirements
u Back-up sites
u Storage areas
u Insurance considerations
Nearly 40 years later, I realize how simplistic our thinking was
then. But then, compared to today, the data processing mission
and technology were simplistic 40 years ago as well.
As many project leaders in the early years of developing disaster recovery plans found out, the key objection placed in their
As I mentioned in the beginning of this column, I will only
be writing a couple more columns. Disaster Recovery Journal has
been like my home away from home when it comes to DR/BCP.
DRJ has allowed me to speak to you all for the last 20 years. In
addition to my column, Rich and Bob Arnold have asked me to be
an active participant in every DRJ conference.
I will be participating in the next two conferences. I’m working with Chris Durfee of MailGard on the San Diego “mock
exercise.” We hope to challenge the attendees but also provide
an opportunity to have fun. I know the industry is in good hands,
and I’m sure that the attendees of the mock exercise will prove
I’m also working on my final presentation which is scheduled
for the DRJ’s Spring World 2012 in Orlando. The topic will be:
“And Miles To Go Before I Sleep: Protecting Your Organization’s
Reputation.” During this presentation, I will discuss a number of
crises. I will identify examples of organizations that performed
extremely well during their crisis as opposed to other organizations that dropped the ball and suffered for it.
Hope to see you in San Diego for Fall World 2011, Sept. 11-14,
Ed Devlin will take part in MailGard’s mock exercise presentation at DRJ’s
Fall World 2011 in San Diego, Sept. 11-14.
Ed Devlin, CBCP, has provided business recovery planning consulting services since
1973 when he co-founded Devlin Associates. Since then, Devlin has assisted more than
300 companies in the writing of their business recovery plans and has made more than 800
seminars and presentations worldwide.