Home > Articles > Software Development & Management

Like this article? We recommend Data Communications

Data Communications

The same principles that apply to voice communications recovery also apply to data communications recovery. LAN/WAN recovery can, potentially, be especially difficult and time-consuming without specialized expertise to supervise and execute it.



For a company or organization that has one facility, the recovery plan must provide some means of recovery if that facility is destroyed or if, for any reason, no one can enter it for several days or weeks. Most people are unaware that most municipal fire departments have the authority to quarantine a building or facility during an emergency. For example, if a hazardous material (hazmat) spill were to occur just outside a company or organization’s facility, the fire department could prevent anyone from entering that structure for several hours, days, or even weeks. This would make it very difficult for a company or organization to continue, resume, or recover their business operations in a reasonable amount of time unless it moved to a recovery site.

Data Backups

Data Backups

Data is critical to the recovery of any computerized business operation. It is the one element that usually cannot be re-created if it is lost. Data can be softcopy (electronic) or hardcopy (paper). Electronic data can include operating systems, computer programs (applications), word processing files, spreadsheets, databases, etc. Some experts exclude operating systems and applications from this classification, but include only files created by the users.

Backups can be taken several times a day, a week, or a month, depending upon the production volume and the nature of the organization’s business, but especially depending upon how long the company could afford to be non-productive.

Backups are generally categorized as base-line or incremental. Base-line backups involve transferring critical files—in their entirety—to tape, disk, or to another computer. Incremental backups involve transferring only those files that have changed since the last base-line or incremental backup was taken. As you can imagine, incremental backups take less time to do, thereby saving valuable computer and personnel time as well as storage space.

Off-Site Storage

Off-Site Storage

In addition to base-line and incremental, data backups fall into two other categories: those kept in or near the computer room for rapid user data recovery, and those kept off-site, to be used to recover from a serious problem.

Backups kept off-site should be stored in a secure location that is sufficiently distant from the production facility so that, in the event of a major area-wide catastrophe, both sites will not be wiped out. One rule of thumb used for many years by business continuity professionals is that the backup storage site should be a minimum of seven to ten miles from the processing site. Although this is a general rule of thumb, there are geographical locations where this recommended distance would not be acceptable—for example, in Tornado Alley, or along the Florida coast.

Computer Application Programs

Computer Application Programs

Some software vendors encode their proprietary software so that it will run on one particular machine—identified uniquely, usually by serial number—and not on any other. If a company or organization were trying to recover on an identical but different machine, this software would not function until the vendor supplied a key or some other means of “unlocking” the software to run on the recovery machine. Arrangements need to be made with the software vendor ahead of time, and documented in the recovery plan.

Workaround Plans and Procedures

Workaround Plans and Procedures

As part of the BIA, the questionnaire should uncover what workaround and recovery plans already exist, so that they can be incorporated into the business continuity plan or disaster recovery plan that would be developed once the BIA has been completed. The important sections and what should be covered in each are described in the following sections.

Management Summary

As is typical in a technical report, this section should be one to two pages long, highlighting the principal findings and recommendations from the full report. Because of the length of this section, charts and graphs should be kept to a minimum, or not used at all. The Management Summary should contain enough information to give management a good idea of the full contents of the report, and what actions need to be taken. The reader can then go to the full report to get any details that were not included in the summary.

It is always good to put the financial Findings and Recommendations near the beginning of this section, together with a small table to illustrate them, because financial impacts are nearly always management’s primary concern. For example:



Financial Impact

After One Day

Financial Impact

After One Month

Critical Function


$100,000 or more

$10 million or more



$1 to $99,999

$100,000 to $9.99 million




None to $99,999


1The book this is excerpted from is actually Business Resumption Planning, Second Edition © 2009 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Edited by Leo A. Wrobel.


This is a very important section. You need to list all assumptions made in the analysis, such as: “The information and data returned in the BIA questionnaire is accurate and complete,” or “All dollars used in analyzing Canadian Accounting financials were converted from Canadian to U.S. dollars.”


As the name implies, this section should contain all the information gleaned from the analysis of the data supplied (see Figure 1). We recommend subdividing this section into the various categories used in the BIA questionnaire. Leave all Recommendations Based on these Findings for the next section.

    The financial impact to XYZ Company after a disaster approximately doubles for the first three days after the disaster, increases significantly after one week of being out of service, and even more significantly after two weeks.

Figure 1 Findings of the report


Here you can tell the client’s management all the things that you recommend that they do to remedy any problems you have uncovered in the analysis. Most, but not all, of these recommendations will apply to the development of a business continuity plan or disaster recovery plan. Liberal use of charts, tables, and diagrams should be used here because, much better than verbiage, they convey the impact of the report, particularly the Findings.


The appendix(es) should contain any data too detailed to include in the body of the report, and can contain copies of all the data collected from the questionnaires (see Figure 2). That way, if someone reading the report questions any findings, he or she can verify that the data was accurately interpreted.

Figure 2 Financial Accounting appendix

Present Findings and Recommendations

Present Findings and Recommendations

Once your preliminary BIA findings have been completed, it is time to produce the executive presentation. It will contain your findings, recommendations, and resource request.

Quite often, the attendees at this presentation include the involved vice president, his or her direct reports, and any other management or technical personnel directly involved in the project or requested to be present by management.

This presentation should be limited to one hour maximum, and it should highlight the major findings and recommendations in your BIA report. In most cases, management’s major concerns are financial, so you should devote a significant amount of time in your presentation to cover this. You should also set aside enough time to answer questions that are sure to arise.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020