Business Continuity – Will your business survive a disaster?
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Business Continuity – Will your business survive a disaster?

Before we dive into this blog, let’s define what business continuity actually means and why your company should have one. 

Business continuity is an enterprise’s ability to ensure mission-critical infrastructure, company functions and operations are not severely or critically impacted by a disaster (logical or physical) or unplanned incident. In short, your business continuity plan ensures your users can get back to work in the event $h!T happens! 

If you work in IT, chances are you have heard the term business continuity. Truthfully, it should not only apply to IT. However, given how integral and critical IT is to most businesses today, it almost always relates to IT. Let’s step back and remove IT from the equation and you will quickly see that the concept of a business continuity plan can apply to all businesses. The terminology and processes will be the same, albeit at a different scale. 

Important Business Continuity terms 

Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) are two key indicators that enterprises consider when maintaining business continuity. 

Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is a time, within which all operations must be back to normal after disaster strikes. 

Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is a maximum period on which data and operations can be lost between the last backup and the disruptive event. RPO is set by the company requirements and business continuity strategy. 

Depending on the industry, business size, and specific business requirements, RTO and RPO metrics can differ. Nonetheless, the business continuity plan should be defined with a priority to ensure access to systems and data. This can depend on several factors; from an organization’s size to its business type, structure, existing in-house resources, and other parameters. 

Business Continuity Planning 

Now that you know what business continuity is and why you need it, let’s show you how and what your plan should consist of.

Large organizations have dedicated strategists, teams, and budgets to conceptualize, implement, and maintain a business continuity plan. A business continuity plan outlines procedures and instructions an organization must follow in the face of such disasters; it covers business processes, assets, human resources, business partners, and more. Business continuity plans do not only apply to large enterprises! No matter the size of your business, if you want to ensure you can continue to operate and service your clients, small or large, it is best to be ready! 

Important components of your Business Continuity Plan

  

Needless to say, every business continuity plan will be different. Having searched online, there are several examples of what should be included in a business plan and also many templates to choose from. The following components seem to be common among all the plans found online. 

  • Define your team: Identify the individuals who will work with the various business units to devise, maintain, and activate the plan. Always have a leader. 
  • Identify the various risks: Physical disasters (natural or man-made) or technology related. 
  • Determine critical applications: As an organization, you need to know which resources keep your business running. IE: Revenue generation activities, payroll, telework availability etc. 
  • Continuous IT Operations: Most companies today rely heavily on technology. Ensure your IT apps and functions can continue to run. Many companies offer SaaS-based applications, permitting organizations to access those apps/data from any device. Does your company leverage SaaS applications? 
  • Test, test, and test again: Be sure to keep your business continuity plan up to date. Walkthrough the plan with your team and test the plan on a regular basis. 

What Next? 

The good news is, if you are looking to implement a business continuity strategy and need to build a plan, there is a lot of information to reference. A quick online search will produce many iterations of strategies and plans.  The BDC provides a list of business continuity templates to help you get started. 

Join us through our journey to help protect your business. Assurance IT provides businesses across Canada the ability to augment/compliment their business continuity strategy by providing critical components related to data restoration. For more information, access to critical computer systems and applications in the articles referenced in this blog:  

https://www.veeam.com/blog/what-is-disaster-recovery.html https://www.cio.com/article/2381021/best-practices-how-to-create-an-effective-business-continuity-plan.html


https://www.eci.com/blog/135-five-steps-of-business-continuity-planning-for-investment-firms.html


https://monstertechnology.net/7-essential-elements-business-continuity-plan/  

Do you have a business continuity plan?