Any business can be susceptible to a disaster which unexpectedly disrupts day-to-day business activities. In an age where businesses rely on technology to remain competitive, operating without a disaster recovery plan is a risky business and a serious threat to business continuity for any organization.
The increased reliance on IT infrastructure to streamline business processes and maintain a competitive advantage has made planning for business continuity more important than ever. Planning for business continuity requires a comprehensive assessment of potential losses from a disaster and this can often take quite a bit of time, particularly if there is no recovery plan in place.
The old adage, “Failure to plan means you plan to fail” is quite true when it comes to business continuity. Organizations that do not plan in advance for a disaster typically suffer a significant amount of downtime depending upon the nature and effects of the disaster itself. In fact, failing to plan for business continuity is the number one reason most businesses close their doors following a catastrophe while others that have a disaster recovery plan in place continue to flourish.
What is Business Continuity?
Business continuity is sometimes known as business continuance and is a process which defines the procedures which are to be followed by an organization to ensure critical business processes will continue to function during and following a disaster. A business continuity plan includes a solid disaster recovery plan which helps a business to prevent the disruption of services which are mission-critical to business processes.
The process of planning for business continuity involves a decision making process. The plan begins with deciding which functions are the most critical to enable failover systems to be put in place. This is followed by a plan for maintaining critical services at an alternative location along with a contingency plan which outlines events which can seriously impact a business following an unexpected disaster.
Why and How Important Is It for a Business To Have a Strategic Business Continuity Solution in Place?
The importance of a business continuity plan should never be underestimated. In fact, with the increased reliance on technology infrastructures for critical business operations, planning for disaster recovery should be placed very high on the priority list.
Statistical analysis studies have shown that more than 80 percent of organizations which encounter a disaster can expect to go out of business within a year following the event. Regardless of whether disasters occur as the result of a manmade reason or via an act of nature, they can occur anywhere and at any time.
Substantial evidence also shows that businesses which implement business continuity plans prior to a disaster often ride out catastrophes with minimal or no loss of data, hardware, or business revenue. This in turn allows organizations to maintain business continuity and consumer confidence as well as the support of company shareholders.
When you think about it, what would you do if your business facilities were damaged or destroyed during a disaster? How would you relocate in time to continue serving your customer base? Would you be prepared by having the proper resources, databases, contact information and other necessary items to adapt to these changes?
Having a solid business continuity plan provides answers to these questions by helping you to identify the critical business components. Investing the time in advance will ensure business survival following an unanticipated disaster.
Who Can Help You Setup A Business Continuity Solution For Your Business?
Implementing a business continuity plan will affect your business on many different levels, which is why it is essential to ensure the inception of disaster recovery technologies is done correctly from the very start.
As more companies seek effective business continuity solutions, there is an increased number of business continuity and disaster recovery solution providers which employ a staff of experienced professionals which hold accreditation from Microsoft, Citrix, Cisco, VMware, and other IT sources. Additionally, if you are already using a cloud solutions provider, many of the cloud vendors provide consultants, which have extensive expertise in business continuity solutions.
There is also a host of independent consultants which specialize in helping businesses develop business continuity and disaster recovery plans, like this company for example. In this case, it is important to invest the time to research the company before choosing to employ a business continuity consultant since you want to ensure business processes will continue in the most reliable and effective way possible following a disaster.
What Plans Need To Be Put In Place Before Disaster Strikes? What Are Some of the Best Practices?
Business continuity and disaster recovery plans typically follow common standard procedures, with variations added according to the individual requirements of an organization. The following areas are common considerations which are included in a solid plan for recovery: [Read more…] about Why Should I Set Up a Business Continuity Plan?