Business Continuity Plans: The One Plan We Hope You’ll Never Need to Use
Creating a business continuity plan is a little more involved than just backing up your data. In other words, data backup is an important piece of business continuity but it’s not the whole puzzle.
So, what is business continuity? Business continuity refers to the preparations your organization makes to get past a serious incident and get back to business as usual, as quickly as possible. Part of this plan will include your data backup.
Key Elements of your Continuity Plan
Data backups will prove to be the backbone of your business continuity plan. Ensure they are based on a reliable platform, such as in the cloud, and that they are tested routinely.
Other elements of business continuity include:
- Recovery: How will you restore your critical business functions if they fail due to a natural disaster, malware incident, or employee error?
- Resilience: Redundancy, spare capacity, and other important designs that will support your infrastructure and critical business functions in the face of a significant disruption.
- Contingency Plan: This is your last resort if your other recovery and continuity plans should fail somehow.
RTO and RPO
Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is a critical factor in your business continuity plan. How long will it take to recover your files before your business is adversely affected?
Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is the longest timeframe you can be without your data before those consequences become irreversible.
It’s important that your RPO is balanced with your RTO; you have to make sure your business continuity plan takes into account how long your data will take to be restored and how long it will take before the data loss causes the business to suffer the consequences. Obviously, your RTO needs to be shorter than your RPO to avoid critical, permanent losses.
Not Having a Continuity Plan Can Cost You…Big Time
Taking the time to create a strategic business continuity plan can be the difference between some slight pesky annoyances and crippling business-ending complications.
Let’s look at a few “what-if’s” and think about how they would affect your business.
- What if your server crashes and your network is offline for a few hours? A day? Even longer? (download this downtime calculator to see how much your company can “afford” to lose in unplanned downtime)
- What if your shipment dates are compromised?
- What if transaction records are lost?
- What if delivery trucks can’t finish their routes?
- What if data is irretrievably lost forever?
Continuity Plans in the Face of Industry Regulations
Digitizing data and files is a normal part of all modern businesses, and this trend will only increase. In fact, it’s estimated that data storage unit spending will exceed $78 billion in 2021. With fewer file cabinets or hastily scrawled notes on clipboards, it’s never been more important to ensure your business’ digital continuity than it is right now.
Regulatory organizations are taking their own pieces of the continuity pie, focusing on data storage, processes, capture and transfer to ensure compliancy in privacy and safety. PCI, HIPAA, and HITECH are just a few of the governing bodies of digital business continuity.
Iconic IT Can Demystify Your Business Continuity Plan
Iconic IT’s free evaluation will help you figure out your RTO and your RPO so have a realistic idea of what you can, and can’t, afford to lose in the face of a breach or disaster. We offer helpful tips, tools, and solutions as part of our risk free, no obligation assessment; let Iconic IT put the continuity back into your business plans. It’s no longer a question of “if” I lose company data in today’s digitized world, it’s a matter of “when.” Fill out the form to the right to request your free consultation today.