If a natural disaster struck your area, how would you contact all of your employees? What about your customers? As the hours and days go by with employees stuck at home due to impassable roads or downed wires, the costs of downtime begin to stack up. If you haven’t invested in business continuity planning, you could be one disaster away from going out of business.
What is business continuity planning? These are measures you put in place to ensure your business can continue during the immediate period following a disaster, whether it’s a fire, flood, or a cyber attack. It’s a plan of viewing the business as a whole, and then determining what’s necessary for business resilience in a crisis. Your strategy should protect your data, whether it resides in a physical server in-house, or on virtual servers in the cloud. You need reliable back up and the ability to restore your data quickly.
A good strategy should have you working in minutes, but the disruption caused by a disaster can vary significantly in both severity and length. Good business continuity planning includes continuous, off-site data backup, as well as backup for server images and applications. There should also be a plan for rerouting calls to either another site or to employees’ cell phones.
If you begin with a risk assessment, you can determine which areas of business will be most impacted by a disaster and identify weaknesses in the organization that might prevent you from continuing operations. It may begin with IT, but you may find additional areas that are vulnerable.
Here are four reasons why you should prioritize business continuity planning:
Downtime will cost you: If your team or your customers are unable to access applications and data, you’ll see an immediate impact on your productivity and the bottom line. Many organizations fail to recognize this obvious information. Look into tools that allow you to run your applications from a backup instance of virtual servers, allowing your team to engage in operations while your primary application servers are being restored.
You can’t rely solely on data backup: It’s widely accepted that data backup is a necessary step for any business, but few consider what happens if the primary and backup servers are both impacted by the same natural disaster. You should have an off-site backup, but you should also have cloud backup of your data. The option to run your applications in the cloud while your infrastructure is being restored will keep your business operations running and prevent downtime.
Disasters might be more common than you think: Data loss disasters are not restricted to the types of disasters that make the news, like a tornado or flood. More often, they are common mistakes like data deletion or damage to critical hardware. You might be a victim of a ransomware attack or a power surge.
Business continuity affects your customers: Imagine if there is a natural disaster, and your competitors are open and running, but you’re unable to even get your critical applications going. That can be a blow to your business goals, and the incident may stick in your customers’ minds. Don’t leave anything to chance.
For more information about business continuity planning, contact us at Diversified Technology Group. We can help you prioritize the right steps to initiate a plan that eliminates downtime and keeps your business moving, no matter the circumstances.