Business Continuity – Why your business depends on it – Part IV

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Bob Milliken
Bob Milliken

Welcome to the fourth and final installment of our “There’s Much More to Backups than Just Backing Up” 4 part series on computer system backup and business continuity.

Last week we focused on the difference between backup and business continuity. To close this series we are going to focus on the WHY of Business Continuity.

Ask yourself this question – “If disaster were to strike my business today, would it survive”? Your answer may surprise you.

If you are comfortable with your answer, Great!

If not, as a business owner, you should start preparing for the worst.  Your business may depend on it. Those that don’t may never fully recover from a disaster.

Wikipedia defines Business Continuity as “planning and preparation to ensure that an organization can continue to operate in case of serious incidents or disasters and is able to recover to an operational state within a reasonably short period”. Such disasters may not necessarily have to occur in the place of business to have a catastrophic impact.

  • Natural disasters
    • A flood, an earthquake, a fire, a building failure.
  • Manmade disasters
    • Loss of a key employee, accidents by key personnel, insolvency of a key supplier, negative media campaigns.
  • Malicious disasters
    • Cyber-attacks, virus infections, rogue employees, RANSOMWARE.
  • Technology disasters
    • Server crash, loss of internet services, failure of key hardware components.
  • To be clear, business continuity involves thinking about the business at a higher-level and asks – what are the risk factors?
  • What is the technology continuity?
    • Are there working backup, disaster recovery plans?
    • Can the business be run from cloud based virtual systems?
    • Can RTO/RPO objectives be met?
    • Preparation for alternate data centres
    • Migration to hosted PBX systems
  • What is the impact?
    • How will the business be impacted?
    • How will customers, vendors, etc. be impacted?
  • What is the people continuity?
    • Where are people going to work, are layoffs required or can staff be reassigned, staff communication?
  • What is the process continuity?
    • How are you going to keep your business running (telephones, sales, filling orders, cash flow, etc.)?
  • What are the insurance considerations?
    • Do you have, can you get insurance coverage for the event?

We have discovered through this series that data backup alone is not enough.  While it’s absolutely clear that having a working backup system is essential, business continuity is equally important to consider. In the worst case scenario the files, data, applications and systems that define your business need to be available to be run on demand from virtual machines backed up in the cloud.

This series of articles has been meant to provide you with a clear understanding why your business needs a properly designed and working system, but it is no substitute for rigorous planning with a professional service.

 

Bob Milliken is the TheITguy@CascadiaSystemsGroup.com specializing in helping businesses with their IT needs. Discover how great local IT services can be.604.270.1730.