Special Report: Agency Eases Disaster Recovery

Posted: 11/2001

Special Report

Restoring America’s

Agency Eases Disaster Recovery
Tara Seals

In the aftermath of the World Trade Center twin towers collapse, unrest and insecurity run through the business world, as everyone tries to make sense of the post-attack economy.

Disaster recovery and business continuity services, like those offered by Fortune Consulting International Inc. may become a permanent part of corporate culture as businesses plan for the worst-case scenario.

Fortune is the consulting arm of New Jersey-based telecom agency the Beacon Group, although it is technically a separate corporation. Business continuity is a specialty concern for the 18-person company, with professionally certified staff that counsels and provides training for businesses on what to do in the event of a disaster.

Fortune senior consultant Paul Kirvan says he has seen a heightened awareness of the need for contingency planning since the World Trade Center tragedy.

However, he says there has yet to be a spike in the amount of consulting work. Kirvan says people still are reacting to the Sept. 11 incident. He explains consulting is a proactive service whose time will come after things calm down.

Fortune offers four steps to business continuity best practices: Assessment, plan design, plan exercise and review.

The assessment portion examines how a company does business and the technology that supports that business, and then determines how it may be at risk in an event such as a flood or building collapse.

Fortune also conducts a business impact analysis that determines what a loss of telecom and IT services for a day, a week, a month or longer may mean.

The company then reports anticipated problems and makes specific recommendations, such as equipment redundancy, local telephone company access diversity, staff evacuation and emergency backup site designation.

Next, Fortune says it’s critical to design a business continuity plan, which can take three months to a year or longer.

Fortune identifies resources, such as offsite data storage, alternate office space, cleanup companies and work area renovation.

Kirvan says it’s crucial to implement communications services that are disaster-ready.

Fortune also offers recommendations on backing up critical data and identifying alternate sources of equipment, such as servers, hubs, routers and PBXs.

Testing the plan also is crucial and can take from a week to a month to plan


The final step is review. After a post-exercise update of the plan, Fortune schedules quarterly reviews.

Fortune offers

four steps to business

continuity best practices:


plan design,

plan exercise and review.


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