It’s fairly common practice for those developing their organisation’s business continuity plans to think about some of the other useful stuff that the various teams might need in the event of the plans being invoked.
The stuff in question might include important documents that complement the business continuity plan, such as floor plans, contact information or next of kin details; or emergency equipment, such as protective clothing, mobile ‘phones or card readers for electronic funds transfers; or various bits and bobs required for IT recovery, such as installation disks, configuration details, passwords, security codes or dongles. Does this sound familiar?
And it’s a fairly common, and eminently sensible, conclusion that one or more “battle boxes” containing this important stuff should be created and stored at various locations to ensure their availability when they’re needed.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for the battle boxes to never actually get created and stored offsite. Perhaps because those creating them haven’t quite got all the contents together yet or because something more important has diverted their attention, or perhaps because they just forgot. Does this sound familiar?
A battle box can be a really useful addition to the business continuity armoury. But it’s completely and utterly useless as a concept without the box itself!
And, by the way, the list in the business continuity plan of what ought to be in the battle box is really just adding insult to injury when said box is conspicuous by its absence.