IT Service Continuity Management (ITSCM) Policy and Procedures Template

by Rajeshwari Kumar


An IT Service Continuity Management (ITSCM) Policy serves as a foundational document articulating the organization's commitment to ensuring the resilience of critical IT services. This policy outlines the strategic approach to identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks that could impact service continuity. The ITSCM policy outlines the organization's commitment to maintaining essential IT functions, identifying key dependencies, and implementing measures to minimize downtime. Complementary procedures detail the systematic steps for risk analysis, business impact assessment, and the development of comprehensive continuity plans. 

IT Service Continuity Management (ITSCM) Policy and Procedures Template

Objectives of the IT Service Continuity Management Policy and Procedures 

1. Service Continuity Assurance: Clearly articulate the commitment to maintaining the continuity of essential IT services, emphasizing the organization's dedication to minimizing downtime and disruptions. 

2. Risk Identification and Assessment: Define procedures for identifying and assessing potential risks that could impact IT service continuity. This involves a systematic analysis of both internal and external factors that could pose a threat. 

3. Business Impact Analysis (BIA): Establish a structured approach to assessing the impact of disruptions on critical IT services and business operations. This involves understanding the dependencies between IT services and various business functions. 

4. Prioritization of Critical Services: Develop a framework for classifying and prioritizing IT services based on their criticality to the business. This ensures a focused effort on safeguarding the most vital functions. 

5. Development of Continuity Plans: Outline procedures for developing comprehensive continuity plans that detail strategies for maintaining or quickly restoring critical IT services. This includes defining recovery objectives and alternative service provision methods. 

6. Testing and Validation: Establish a process for regularly testing continuity plans to ensure their effectiveness. This involves simulated scenarios, drills, and exercises to validate the organization's preparedness for various disruptions. 

7. Training and Awareness: Define procedures for educating and raising awareness among staff about the ITSCM policies and procedures. This ensures that employees understand their roles and responsibilities in maintaining service continuity. 

8. Regular Review and Updates: Implement a mechanism for regularly reviewing and updating the ITSCM policies and procedures to adapt to changes in technology, business processes, and the threat landscape. 

9. Integration with IT Governance Framework: Ensure alignment with the organization's overall IT governance framework, integrating ITSCM seamlessly with other governance components to support strategic business goals. 

10. Compliance with Regulatory Requirements: Define processes to monitor and ensure compliance with relevant legal and regulatory requirements related to IT service continuity. 

IT Service Continuity Management Policy Components 

  • Policy Statement: Clearly articulate the organization's commitment to maintaining the continuity of essential IT services. Highlight the importance of ITSCM in supporting overall business objectives and resilience. 
  • Purpose and Scope: Define the purpose of the ITSCM policy, outlining its goals and objectives. Specify the scope of the policy, identifying the IT services and components covered. 
  • Relationship to IT Governance: Establish the connection between ITSCM and the organization's broader IT governance framework. Clarify how ITSCM aligns with strategic business goals and risk management practices. 
  • Integration with Business Objectives: Emphasize the integration of ITSCM with the organization's business goals and objectives. Ensure that ITSCM strategies align with the critical functions and priorities of the business. 
  • Compliance with Regulatory Requirements: Acknowledge the organization's commitment to complying with relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards related to IT service continuity. Specify the procedures in place to monitor and ensure ongoing compliance. 
  • Responsibilities and Accountability: Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of individuals and departments involved in ITSCM. Establish accountability for maintaining and executing continuity plans. 
  • Communication and Awareness: Outline communication protocols for disseminating information during a disruption. Emphasize the importance of raising awareness among staff about ITSCM policies and procedures. 
  • Policy Review and Updates: Specify the frequency and process for reviewing and updating the ITSCM policy. Ensure that the policy remains aligned with the evolving needs of the organization and the IT landscape. 
IT Service Continuity Management (ITSCM) Policy and Procedures Template

IT Service Continuity Management Procedures 

1. Risk Assessment 

  • Identify potential risks to IT service continuity, considering both internal and external factors. 
  • Assess the likelihood and impact of each identified risk. 
  • Classify risks based on severity and prioritize them for further analysis. 

 2. Business Impact Analysis (BIA): 

  • Conduct a thorough analysis of critical IT services to understand their dependencies and relationships with business functions. 
  • Evaluate the potential impact of disruptions on business operations and service delivery. 
  • Define Maximum Tolerable Downtime (MTD) for each critical service. 

3. Continuity Planning: 

  • Develop comprehensive continuity plans for each critical IT service. 
  • Define strategies for maintaining or quickly restoring services. 
  • Establish recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) for each service. 
  • Identify alternative service provision methods. 

4. Plan Testing and Maintenance: 

  • Regularly test continuity plans through simulated scenarios, drills, or exercises. 
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the plans and identify areas for improvement. 
  • Update and revise continuity plans based on lessons learned from testing and actual incidents. 

5. Training and Awareness: 

  • Provide training to staff on ITSCM policies, procedures, and their roles in maintaining service continuity. 
  • Conduct awareness programs to ensure that all employees understand the importance of ITSCM and their responsibilities. 

6. Documentation and Reporting: 

  • Maintain detailed documentation of ITSCM activities, including risk assessments, BIAs, and continuity plans. 
  • Establish reporting mechanisms for incidents and the status of IT service continuity. 
  • Ensure that incident reports are comprehensive and include lessons learned for continuous improvement. 

7. Communication Protocols: 

  • Define clear communication channels and protocols for disseminating information during a disruption. 
  • Establish communication plans for internal stakeholders, external partners, and, if necessary, the public. 

8. Integration with Change Management: 

  • Integrate ITSCM procedures with the organization's change management processes to ensure that changes do not compromise service continuity. 

9. Continuous Improvement: 

  • Establish a process for continuous improvement of ITSCM procedures. 
  • Regularly review and update procedures based on changes in technology, business processes, and the threat landscape. 

10. Audit and Compliance Monitoring: 

  • Implement procedures for auditing ITSCM activities to ensure compliance with policies and regulatory requirements. 
  • Monitor and assess the effectiveness of ITSCM procedures through regular compliance checks. 


An effective IT Service Continuity Management (ITSCM) Policy and its associated procedures are indispensable components of a robust IT Governance framework. By committing to the principles outlined in the policy and meticulously following the detailed procedures, organizations can significantly enhance their resilience and ensure the uninterrupted delivery of critical IT services in the face of potential disruptions or disasters. The ITSCM Policy serves as a guiding beacon, emphasizing the organization's dedication to maintaining service continuity and aligning IT strategies with broader business objectives. It underscores the importance of integration with the overall IT governance framework, ensuring that ITSCM is not just a standalone effort but an integral part of strategic planning and risk management.