Planning ahead to secure your IT assets in case of a disaster needs to consider dozens of possibilities. Earthquakes, super storms, floods, civil unrest, cyber-terrorism and even infection by a rogue virus. Are you prepared for a disaster that allows your business to continue unaffected? Are your managers and employees on the same page when a disaster strikes?
Effective business continuity planning puts its focus on keeping your overall business in operation when disaster strikes. Disaster recovery planning includes several key components that keep your IT assets running in support of the business. In that sense, disaster recovery is a subset of business continuity planning. We can help you build plans that address both in the face of man-made and natural disasters.
Business Continuity Planning
When your business is disrupted you incur downtime that can lead to loss of customers and unexpected expense in bringing the business back to full operation. Your profits will decline. The basic steps in developing a business continuity plan include these four basic steps.
- Identify mission-critical functions, especially those that are time-sensitive, and the resources that support their operation. This is often called a “business impact” study.
- Put plans in place to recover those mission-critical activities.
- Create a team that focuses on business continuity; a team who will take the helm and lead employees through the disaster when it strikes.
- Test that team with periodic exercises to evaluate their ability to recover from simulated disasters. Use the results of that training to improve the processes involved.
To prevent the loss of mission critical software applications and the data they use, an effective disaster recovery plan should include these action steps.
- Make an inventory of hardware, software and data that is required to sustain normal operation. The inventory should include web servers, application servers, database servers, the software applications and databases – as well as user PC’s and mobile devices that are critical to sustaining operations.
- Make plans to backup applications and data off-site. With the advent of cloud computing in all its forms (hybrid, public, private, IaaS, PaaS, etc.) these backup services can be achieved at price points even smaller businesses can afford.
- Create plans to move routine business processes to the cloud in the event of a disaster.
- Create a team that understands your disaster recovery plan, then test them periodically to assure the team and the plan work successfully to avoid or, at least, minimize down-time.
We can assist you in developing both business continuity and disaster recovery plans that meet your budget and your operational requirements. Contact us to discuss your specific needs.