Life is full of ups and downs and twists and turns. And, when it comes to operating a business, expecting the unexpected is the best way to secure your company for success down the line.
That's why it is paramount that every business has a business continuity plan. These plans are designed to help a company thrive even during an unpredictable event.
Today, we'll talk about the purpose of a business continuity plan, as well as how to create your own.
Why You Need a Business Continuity Plan
The main purpose of a continuity plan is to make sure that your business can still thrive, albeit in a more limited space, during times of natural disasters, fires, cyber attacks, and other external threats. If you live in an area that is at risk of a hurricane, then it is wise to have a plan of action in place in the event a storm does occur. Natural disasters can not only force you to stop working if you're in an evacuation zone, but you also have to factor in that your workplace may be affected as well, which means that even after the storm has passed, you may not be able to start working from your office immediately after.
The same for fires, where a large fire in your office means you'll have to have a plan of action for how work can still get done.
When it comes to cyber attacks, you'll need to create a plan for keeping essential functions up and running.
In addition to figuring out how you'll get work done in a limited capacity after these unpredictable events happen, you also have to figure out how to recover in as little time as possible.
Having the right steps in place to help your business get back on its feet before the event happens is a surefire way to getting things back to normal faster.
So, what exactly should go into a continuity plan?
What You Need In Your Business Continuity Plan
Here is a helpful outline for everything you need to include in your plan:
Identify Your Business's Essential Functions
During a disaster, it is unrealistic to expect your business to be able to carry out every single function it does during normal times. Instead, you have to prioritize the functions that must still be completed (if possible).
Start by ranking your functions in order of most important to least important to the overall success of your business. This is a difficult exercise, as every function is important for your customers or clients in one way or another. By figuring out which ones are most crucial, you'll be able to keep your business afloat during the recovery process by putting systems in place that will ensure you can still carry them out even during the recovery process.
Put in Place Failover Mechanisms
After prioritizing your functions, you have to put into place failover strategies. These are strategies that allow for vital information and data to be backed up on a secondary system component. Such components that may be backed up include a server, network, processor, or database.
This is a very important step in the continuity plan, as you should already have these backups in place in the event of a disaster. Waiting too long to enact these strategies can prove costly.
Outline Your Recover Strategies
When it comes to the overall recovery strategy, a well-thought-out plan can help make the process smoother. Setting recovery time objectives for different systems, networks or applications can help prioritize which elements to recover first. Other recovery strategies include resource inventories, agreements with third parties to take on company activity, and using converted spaces for mission-critical functions.
We Can Help Your Business Succeed During an Emergency
Here at Medicus IT, we provide Backup and Disaster Recovery solutions specifically designed for your business. We'll encrypt your data securely, back it up at an off-site facility, and ensure that it is safe and accessible for you when needed them.
Manual, local backup techniques, including changing tapes, discs, or hard drives, introduce the likelihood for human error. Where traditional backup methods leave off, our hybrid online/on‑site solutions begin.
Our backup solution provides:
- Automated assurance of backups
- Continuous protection with backups throughout the entire day
- Secure storage
- Instant recovery
- Executed HIPAA Business Associate Agreements (BAA)