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Business process improvements, customer relationship management and business analytics are high on CIOs' to-do lists this year.#6: Disaster Planning/Recovery">
Project #6: Disaster Planning/Recovery
Participants: Senior business executives, up to and including the chief executive, usually have input. The board of directors often has oversight responsibility.
"Thinking big" was once an unambiguously positive thing in business. The last few years have brought the realization that big can sometimes be bad, too.
In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina, enterprises have turned to companies like SunGard to prepare for the possibility not just of lost data but of even more frightening things. "What if telecommunications and the cellular infrastructure go down?" says Jon Oltsik, an information security analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group. "What if people are killed? Who is the next in line?
"People are thinking through this in a lot more depth," he adds. "It's unfortunate, but it's necessary."
The services provided include plain vanilla office buildings, their uninhabited cubicles and empty conference rooms providing insurance against the unwanted day when a company's headquarters are rendered unusable by some catastrophe.
Financial institutions are the biggest consumers of disaster insurance, partly because of requirements imposed by regulatory agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission and partly because they're prime targets for terrorists. Many financial institutions pay millions of dollars annually for disaster recovery services, Oltsik says.