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Use ITIL to Enhance Your Disaster Recovery Capability

Feb 1, 2008

Mike Tainter

The CMDB is an important component for Incident and Change Management in order to determine the appropriate scope of outages and changes. Any changes to the configurations of critical services will have a direct impact on the BC/DR plan and should be annotated as such in the CMDB.

Availability and Capacity Management – As the service catalog is developed, service level requirements will determine the level of availability and capacity needed to reduce risks associated with the infrastructure. These plans provide critical input to the BC/DR plan in that they indicate the level of redundancy and capacity requirements needed to ensure continuous service operations. Availability and capacity managers must be consulted when developing the BC/DR plan so the level of capability can be defined appropriately. A detailed process in this area will lead to a more effective BC/DR plan.

Continual Service Improvement – In order to ensure that IT transforms itself toward a higher level of maturity, service improvement plans must be developed and maintained. A key component of drafting an effective plan is identification of the impact improvements (changes) have on the BC/DR plan. A detailed process for coordinating and determining the effect on the BC/DR capability is critical in ensuring that when improvements to the plan are made, all stakeholders are informed and the impact on the business is considered.


Integrating your ITIL program with your BC/DR capability can provide the business with the assurance that IT is considering all aspects of maintaining continuous service operations. The list of correlating processes between ITIL and BC/DR contained in this article are not all inclusive, however, they represent a good start toward transforming and aligning IT with the business.

When developing your BC/DR capability, it is a good practice to consider ITIL as a means to enhance your plan by taking the time to integrate your efforts and consider the effects of Services, People, Process and Tools. The time you spend to ensure effective maintenance of your BC/DR plan using the ITIL best practices will go a long way to ensure continuous business operations before, during and after a disaster.

As director of Forsythe’s IT service management practice, Mike Tainter focuses on IT service management, ITIL, operations management, process design, IT operations support system development, and IT logistical requirements for a wide variety of organizations.