IBM Tivoli Business Continuity Process Manage
BCPM provides highly configurable and adaptable processes for planning, testing, and execution of recovery and continuity activities for disaster situations. BCPM helps automate the processes required to identify and recover critical business systems as quickly as possible when an outage occurs.
Organizations looking to improve business continuity should consider how availability applies in different technological dimensions. Technology, however, is insufficient by itself. People, processes, and strategies also comprise core aspects of business continuity which must be effectively integrated into the strategy. By incorporating these areas in conjunction with relevant technology, the organization can manage continuity in accordance with business requirements —crossing platforms despite technical differences, testing people and process layers as well as technical tools and assets, assessing the overall results, and generating feedback which can then be incorporated into the overall solution to revise and refine it.
Many complications make this difficult to implement. One such is the fact that business continuity plans quickly become obsolete or that Business continuity testing is often inadequate if existing at all. Tests must address IT assets, people, and processes in an effective simulation of disasters or outages to give the organization actionable intelligence pertaining to continuity.
For many organizations a critical question is: How can we effectively test and monitor our business continuity strategy, in different ways spanning different potential situations, to ensure operational resilience and align with service management goals even in the face of unforeseen disasters or outages?
IBM Tivoli Business Continuity Process Manager (BCPM) is designed to address these issues by providing centralized service continuity planning, management, and testing across the IT infrastructure, spanning applications, servers, networks, and storage, as well as people and processes deemed relevant to continuity. This is accomplished, in part, through BCPM's seamless integration with other IBM tools and solutions, thus coordinating IT processes such as change and release management. Furthermore, BCPM also facilitates simulations and fire drills, to serve as a rehearsal of the strategy, and generates reports on overall solution efficacy which establishes and quantifies performance in different scenarios. Thus, BCPM empowers IT with the crucial information needed to refine the strategy as needed in any particular area before disaster has a chance to strike.
BCPM includes many workflows from ITIL best practices designed to ensure that outages or even disasters receive an optimized response. In the event technical problems occur, these workflows can help guide IT through proven logical sequences which apply to the many different solutions in place throughout the IT infrastructure, minimizing business impact and maximizing service uptime. To ensure a tailored fit with unique organizational needs and contexts, the ITIL-based workflows included with BCPM can also be adjusted dynamically; in fact, new ones can even be created from scratch.
For example, if GDPS detects a system outage at a remote site caused by a storage replication issue, BCPM starts taking logical steps in a recovery process, integrating with GDPS as well as other deployed IBM solutions as guided by specific context and policies. One scenario, for instance, might involve asking the operator for authorization of next actions; integrating with IBM System Automation and IBM Tivoli Application Dependency Discovery Manager to determine the business consequences of the outage; declaring a disaster has occurred and selecting an appropriate disaster recovery plan; ensuring IT staff availability; executing the plan, including copy operations via GDPS; and finally, declaring the plan is complete. BCPM has thus directly enhanced the efficiency and comprehensive utilization of all relevant IT assets including technology, people, strategy, and processes to achieve exceptionally high levels of business continuity, despite a serious technical failing and threat to operational resilience.
BCPM is a key solution organizations can use to address the entire business continuity plan cycle through tight integration with many different IT assets, technology, people, and processes, as guided by included ITIL-based best practices workflows. Through BCPM, organizations can realize substantial improvements at every stage in the overall continuity plan, assessing dynamic IT environments, defining disaster recovery plans, testing those plans, simulating incidents, generating reports to quantify success levels, and managing incidents in real-time across platforms and solution categories to minimize the business impact of both planned and unplanned outages.