What would happen if all of the world’s computing resources were suddenly no longer usable? It would be chaos! Finance, transportation, communications, all human activities rely on IT.
Thankfully, this scenario is unlikely, especially since most organizations that rely on technology have a business continuity plan in place to confidently deal with their greatest threats.
In this article, find out exactly what a business continuity plan is and how important it is for an organization to have one and keep it up to date.
What is a business continuity plan?
Business continuity is the ability of an organization to maintain its critical functions during and after a disaster.
A business continuity plan sets up risk management processes and procedures to prevent disruptions to critical services and restore full functionality as quickly and smoothly as possible.
The ultimate goal of a business continuity plan is to keep critical functions operational during a disaster or at least to restore them with the least amount of downtime possible. Obviously, today, these functions are mostly computerized or rely on the use of computer hardware.
A business continuity plan takes into account various unpredictable events such as natural disasters, fires, epidemics, cyber attacks and other external threats. These also determine:
- How these risks will affect operations
- How to put in place safeguards, procedures and policies to mitigate these risks
- How the recovery procedures will be tested to make sure they work
- How the process will be reviewed to be kept up to date
Which companies should have a business continuity plan?
Business continuity is important for organizations of all sizes, but it is typically only absolutely necessary for larger organizations to maintain all of their day-to-day operations during a disaster.
In fact, according to many experts, the first step in developing a business continuity plan is to decide which IT functions are critical and allocate the available budget accordingly. These functions and the budget will obviously vary depending on each organization.
Once the essential elements have been identified and the budget set, administrators can put in place systems to guarantee their availability.
Business continuity plan example
For a rapid IT system recovery following a disaster, organizations can keep up-to-date copies of data in different geographical locations instead of simply the main data centre using technologies such as disk mirroring and online backup.
Employees can therefore continue to access data without interruption while protecting the business from a computer data loss if a location is affected by a disaster.
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Why is it more important than ever to have a business continuity plan?
Here are a few examples of why companies should develop a business continuity plan and update it regularly.
Threats are increasingly varied and dangerous
Downtime can be a result of a variety of sources. A business continuity plan should take into account any potential business disruptions.
Some threats, such as computer viruses and extreme weather conditions, even seem to be increasingly common. It is therefore necessary to make sure that the continuity plan is updated and protects the company against new sources of problems.
The market is more ruthless than ever
We live in an era where people are looking for instant satisfaction of their needs. Loyalty to a product or service vendor is less and less valued and competition is strong, so even the slightest setback due to a glitch or computer failure can result in a huge loss of customers and money for an organization.
Similarly, an institution that suffers personal data breach or loss could very well lose the trust of its clients and have its reputation compromised. In sectors such as finance or healthcare, a business continuity plan is literally vital.
It is sometimes a question of compliance
As regulations governing business activities become increasingly stringent, it is important to understand what laws and standards govern and affect a given organization. In this sense, business continuity may be a requirement for legal or compliance reasons.
It is the duty of organizations to put in place an appropriate business continuity plan if they do not want to risk being subject to sanctions or penalties.
Groupe SL helps you with your business continuity
In short, a company should have a business continuity plan for continuity of operations in the event of a disaster. This plan has even become a must to stay ahead of the competition because it helps avoid computer failures and maintain the fragile trust of the public and business partners. However, developing an effective continuity plan requires a company to undergo a self-assessment and weakness analysis.
At Groupe SL, we can identify the threats affecting organizations’ IT systems. We also help companies maximize the availability and security of their IT infrastructure by offering customized IT services.
Hire us if you have doubts about your company’s ability to quickly resume business in the event of a disaster.