Business Continuity is often described as ‘just common sense’. It is about taking responsibility for your business and enabling it to stay on course whatever storms it is forced to weather. It is about “keeping calm and carrying on”!
Business Continuity (BC) is defined as the capability of the organization to continue delivery of products or services at acceptable predefined levels following a disruptive incident.
Technology is a large part of any organization. Deploying the right solution that facilitates a recovery of business operations within the parameters of a business continuity plan is what we can accomplish for our clients.
Just Backing Up or Syncing Data Is NOT
a Business Continuity Plan
Recovery Time Objective
The recovery time objective (RTO) is the targeted duration of time and a service level within which a business process must be restored after a disaster (or disruption) in order to avoid unacceptable consequences associated with a break in business continuity. RTO answers the question, How fast can we recover business operations? Can you tolerate a one day outage? How about one week? You must determine what your tolerance is and ensure your backup and disaster recovery solution can meet your needs.
Recovery Point Objective
A recovery point objective, or “RPO”, is defined by business continuity planning. It is the maximum targeted period in which data might be lost from an IT service due to a major incident. The RPO gives systems designers a limit to work to. The RPO answers the question, How often does your data need to be backed up? The frequency in which your data is backed up determines your recovery point. In other words, if you backup daily then your RPO can not be less than 24 hours. Which means you could lose as much as 24 hours of data (the time between backup jobs). For some businesses, losing an entire day’s work is not an option.
Do You Have a Plan?
When business is disrupted, it can cost money. Lost revenues plus extra expenses means reduced profits. Insurance does not cover all costs and cannot replace customers that defect to the competition. A business continuity plan to continue business is essential. Development of a business continuity plan includes four steps:
- Conduct a business impact analysis to identify time-sensitive or critical business functions and processes and the resources that support them.
- Identify, document, and implement to recover critical business functions and processes.
- Organize a business continuity team and compile a business continuity plan to manage a business disruption.
- Conduct training for the business continuity team and testing and exercises to evaluate recovery strategies and the plan.
Test Your Plan Periodically
Information technology (IT) includes many components such as networks, servers, desktop and laptop computers and wireless devices. The ability to run both office productivity and enterprise software is critical. Therefore, recovery strategies for information technology should be developed so technology can be restored in time to meet the needs of the business. Manual workarounds should be part of the IT plan so business can continue while computer systems are being restored.
The #1 missing element of a good business continuity plan is that the plan is never tested. How do you know if a plan works if you never test it? Rarely does a disaster happen according to plan. Being familiar with what actions to take, who to call and how to workaround problems will be critical to recovering quickly. You don’t want to discover, during a disaster or outage, that your critical business data can’t be recovered.