Business Continuity Planning
“Always be prepared” is a familiar saying for Scouts. These words can also be a business mantra. Hardware failure, security breaches, or even natural disasters are all possible. So, most businesses understand the importance of backing up data and systems. And yet, without business continuity planning, recovery is challenging.
Joe Apps plans for, and supports, your return to business as usual.
Why You Need a Business Continuity Plan
Business continuity planning (BCP) prepares your business to recover after a disaster. It’s about anticipating the worst, predicting impacts, and planning to recover quickly, smoothly.
Thorough business continuity preparations consider staffing, equipment, physical premises, hardware, and software. After all, disruptions to any of these can cost your business money. Your business may:
Need to pay extra expenses
See profits drop
Experience customer churn
It pays to think about business continuity in advance. You may be calm and collected in a crisis. However, you’re likely to think more clearly if you’re not in the midst of a chaotic situation. Working with Joe Apps Technology Support can help too.
Have You Thought About What Happens When…
Your business may be going great. You’ve read about other companies being hacked. You’ve wondered what you might do if a tornado touched down and took your business out. But, nothing like that has happened to you! So, you’ve haven’t actually made a disaster readiness plan.
Start by brainstorming all the business elements a disaster could impact. Your IT Managed Service Provider will bring together business stakeholders to run through different scenarios. For example, what will you do if:
You are a victim of a data breach or ransomware attack
One or more vital systems don’t work?
Your employees can’t access your building
Your business loses power due to a severe weather event
Disgruntled employees sabotage your systems
Even a few days, downtime can be crippling. BCP also gets you thinking about:
Whether your staff can work effectively from another location?
Can their phones redirect to another location?
Will they be able to access their desktops virtually?
Can people continue to provide quality customer service or interact with vendors?
We will ask these questions and more during their BCP as they:
Analyze business impact
Identify critical business functions and processes
Organize a response
Run training and testing exercises
You may be reluctant to run your business continuity team through their paces. Won’t that be disruptive to business? Joe Apps will work to minimize interruptions. After all, it isn’t enough to think about being prepared. Running tests will also help you re-evaluate your BCP choices and priorities. It is the ticket to ensuring you have the best plan in place — before something does go wrong.
You can keep your fingers crossed that you'll never need your business continuity plans. You can hope only one small part of your business systems will go down. But, you're best off planning for a massive hit. You'll be glad you did.
You may already have a plan in place to back up data. But, do you have a plan for accessing that data and getting back up and running after a disaster? What if your data is only available on local devices and the building has burned down?
You want to have more than one backup location. We endorse the 3-2-1 backup strategy. It calls for at least three data copies. Two are local (on separate devices). The other is offsite.
Still, businesses that back up their data offsite, on tape or cloned hard drives, may lose data. It's a question of how much time has elapsed since the last backup. Sometimes this is a few hours. But it could be days — costly days.
Frequently changing data needs regular backing up. For example, a transactions database, generating hundreds of records hourly, needs frequent backup. But tax information from five years ago doesn't change much and won't need backing up as often.
Since the backup is offsite, also plan to check that it's up-to-date. You don't want to experience data loss and then find out your data can't be restored. Keep in mind too, tape or hard drive backups can be expensive and are easily stolen.
Disaster can strike any business, of any size. Don't wait until it's too late to approach Joe Apps Technology Support. Ensure your company survives, no matter what happens.