The purpose of this document is to outline procedures to be followed when there is a major disruption to the operations of the university. In particular, this document focuses on business continuity as it relates to business processes and essential data systems with special attention being paid to corporate information processing (manual and electronic) and associated operations.
Keeping mission-critical people, processes and systems operating normally at all times are the key ingredients of business continuity besides anticipating and mitigating risks. The Business Continuity Plan (BCP) encompasses all operations of the university including Information
Technology (IT). In most instances, the contingency preparation extends beyond the university premises and include corporations, all levels of government - federal, provincial and municipal, other educational institutions (both national and international) and businesses who may be suppliers or providers of certain types of services to the institution.
The BCP is a component of the overall institutional Emergency Response Plan (ERP). The ERP outlines the actions and responsibilities necessary in the event of a major disaster. Some situations which are addressed by the ERP could create a major disruption to critical business processes and data systems. Accordingly, the information and policies of the BCP flow out of the ERP document.
The BCP requires that not only pre-disruption procedures exist, but also technology and procedures to ensure critical information systems are brought back to operation with minimum delay. Procedures must be in place to address a variety of issues, including 1) organizing and mobilizing staff, 2) ensuring communication among various groups is possible and 3) facilitating movement of business operations to an alternate processing site.
Data protection and disaster recovery are an integral part of the BCP. Systems have to be designed in a way to protect and make the data available at all times (if possible) while disaster recovery deals with the process of restoring the system quickly in event of a disruption.
Disruptions can occur from various causes- natural, human and environmental. It is possible that in certain circumstances there may not be any interruption to business processes. In such an event, the procedures outlined in the university=s ERP take precedence over this document.