Business continuity is important for all industries but the cost of downtime affects the financial industry significantly more than all other vertical markets, costing as much as US$4.5 million per hour of outage in the U.S. alone, according to The Yankee Group. In spite of this, a report based on Richmond Events’ Financial CIO Forum in 2002 reveals that many CIO participants at that event claimed to find it difficult to gain upper management support for corporate-wide business continuity initiatives.

Disaster recovery, described in the report as a subset of business continuity, outlines specific strategies for addressing the various parts of the IT infrastructure with the goal of achieving 100 per cent uptime so that the business runs seamlessly through a disaster.

“Because IT operates mainly in silos, different groups have different levels of maturity for their area of disaster recovery and often they are not in alignment. For instance, having hot site replication of data between locations but only marginal backup for the network might create a situation where, in a disaster, the data is backed up, but no one can get to it.”

The Yankee Group reports that the most common themes from the CIO’s attending the think tanks were: