A good business continuity plan helps your company survive and remain up and running through interruptions of any kind, be that a pandemic, IT system crashes, power failures or natural disasters like fire or floods, not to mention cyber-attacks.e kind of business continuity. However, now that working from home is likely to stay, it’s time to make sure your employees and contractors, can not only work from pretty much anywhere, but that your IT systems are secure.
It is a step by step process on what needs to be done to prevents these risks, but is there to protect critical business functions at the same time.
As we begin to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, companies are shifting to a new normal that will certainly be more remote and more cloud-based. Business continuity plans would most certainly have been put to the test, or perhaps they need to be re-written to keep up with these changing business conditions.
Business continuity plans go hand in hand with a disaster recovery plan; one focuses on defining how the business operates during a disaster or emergency, whilst the other focuses on getting applications and systems back up and running.
What Does a Business Continuity Plan Typically Include?
- Key Business Processes : areas your business needs to keep functioning. This could be your IT infrastructure if you are a software company, or your production services if you are a manufacturer. However, other processes could include Marketing, Sales, Accounting and HR.
- Understanding the threats : List all the possible threats in order from highest to lowest risk of disrupting your business. Global pandemics, natural disasters, cyber-attacks, power cuts, etc.
- What’s the impact : Understanding what your potential business loss from the above based on certain time periods, ie a day, week, month, etc. Areas like loss of sales, increased costs, decreased customer service or inability to deliver on time. How long could your business last?
- Staff : Once you have determined the above, staff is your next big consideration. Do you know which employees your business can’t function without? They need to not only be in your business continuity plan, but this process will also flag up possible training needed to share knowledge among other members of staff.
- Contacts List : Names, roles and contact information need to be readily available, for both internal and external staff or suppliers. An emergency that this document prepares for will require all hands on deck, and time will be of the essence.
In addition to the above, areas like Evacuation and Access to the property, or ensuring you have the proper insurance in place all need to be checked and documented, along with who is responsible for which area of the plan.
What Does a Disaster Recovery Plan Typically Include?
As we mentioned above, a disaster recovery plan goes hand in hand as it has many of the same elements of a business continuity plan, but this looks more specifically into the IT infrastructure, areas like :
- business impact analysis
- communication processes
- data backups and ease of recovery
- backup power or internet connections
- fail over servers
Companies need to prioritise applications by how business critical they are, and identify all the dependencies associated with a business process. Remember, you don’t need to protect everything. Often companies discover servers that do nothing but run a routine back-end business process once a month.
Recommended and reliable I.T companies will be able to support you with business continuity planning and disaster recovery procedures which are both vital tools for running a successful business.
One of our articles from last year What do do when a network goes down talks more about disaster recovery plans, so make sure you check that out. And if you have concerns about your business continuity or disaster recovery plans, we can run a free network assessment to help you understand ways to improve network stability. And if you’re experiencing an IT emergency, we can be on hand to help resolve the crisis.
If you are unsure about any of the above, then contact us today to discuss an IT Health Check where we can review and identify any issues to be addressed.