Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Continuity Standards - the wheels keep turning.

The British Standards Institute have announced that they are to develop a standard on ICT Continuity, hot on the heels of their Business Continuity Standard (BS 25999:2006).

The ICT Continuity (tipped to named BS 25777) will no doubt be a rehash to the Business Continuity standard - with a simple search and replace to convert 25999 to an ICT centric document.

Reading through 25999 it is easy to see how this could happen, as the document is generic enough (like all good standards) and already makes reference to ISO 20000 and other standards (BS 17799, ISO 27001) well known to IT professionals.

The release of ITIL v3 must have the "standards makers" rubbing their hands together...

Standard for the Management of a Service Portfolio
Standard for the Release and Deployment of Services
Standard for Management of Knowledge
etc. etc.. :-)

Where will the development of what I call "derivative standards" end. Do we need to have standards for every element, activity, process and entity that are documented in other standards?

Where will the line be drawn between allowing common sense interpreation of existing standards and the seemingly unstoppable quest to "standardize" everything?

Is there a crying need from the general public to create a standard for Continuity or did it "seem like a good idea" and with the added potential of raising funds through the sale of a standard?

Having the name should not entitle an entity (BSI, ISO, etc.) to simply create new standards without due care and attention for the potential confusion in can cause in the marketplace. With an emergecy standard for ICT Continuity emerging that references ISO 20000, what do people do with regard to their interpretation of the Availability and Continuity element in ISO 20000?

I am sure my comment will be waved away as "the specific standard will give more detail than there is in ISO 20000" (BS 15000) - that's an easy dismissive to make.. but it does nothing for the folks that have embarked upon an ISO 20000 journey...

I am sure those people will not be looking forward to the development of standards in Business Development Relationship Management! and Budgeting and Accounting Management!

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