Business Continuity Plan Updates

Disaster Plan Refresh | IT TRENDS

Protect your business during a disaster with BCP from Server@Work.  Our planning team will help you select the technology you need to thrive during a disaster and to benefit during normal business operations. 

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What is a Business Continuity Plan?

Protect your business from interruptions and disasters.

A Business Continuity Plan is different from a Disaster Recovery Plan in that a DR plan is for your IT team to get IT services back online while a BCP is for your entire business to use to operate during a disaster or incident.  To put it simply, a Disaster Recovery Plan is one part of a Business Continuity Plan.

It is often beneficial to start work on your disaster recovery plan before working on your business continuity plan because much of the risk analysis discovery that occurs during DR planning will reveal the systems and persons that are critical to address in your business continuity plan.  The reason for this is simple, your critical people and assets all rely upon computer systems to operate, and when those systems fail, your business needs a way to fallback on other systems to continue operations during disruptions.

Business continuity plan steps.

The complexity of a business continuity plan depends upon:

  • The size of the business
  • The nature of the services it provides
  • The need to continue those services during a disaster or incident; and
  • The scope of information system assets that must be replaced.

For smaller businesses, creating a business continuity plan may take a few hours and only involve a single person to line it out. For others, the process of creating a business continuity plan could take weeks or months and bring in representatives from multiple departments and teams.

For all organizations looking to create their BCP, the following areas need to be covered:

  1. Initial response to an incident, emergency, or disaster.
  2. Relocation of resources and equipment which could be Information System Assets as well as personnel.
  3. Recovery of services following relocation.
  4. Restoration of services to permanent status following recovery.

To identify and prioritize the Information System Assets involved in a BCP, organizations should consider performing an IT risk assessment which will identify IT assets, business processes, and the personnel involved which must be incorporated into the Business Continuity Plan.

Disaster Recovery Support Desk

Where did my support go?

Organizations that have internal IT support or who use local IT vendors to support and manage their technology may find that those resources are not available to support them during a disaster. Those resources are relocating and fighting the same traffic and relocation challenges as the rest of your business and are not able to meet the emergency needs of your relocating business.

Consider supplementing your IT support with a cloud-based IT support company which would be unaffected by regional disaster issues which may impact your business operations.  By working with these off-site IT resources as a part of your Business Continuity Planning, they can help enhance the plan and become a part of the planned solution.

Plan to Succeed During a Disaster

With auto insurance, the hope is that you pay for a policy that you never need.  The same can be said for business continuity planning.  While we never wish for a disaster recovery situation, failing to plan for it can be disastrous for your business.

Considering how heavily your business relies upon technology, it is critical to have a technology plan for continuing application and data access should your company be displaced or lose access to utilities during a disaster or outage for a day, a week, a month, or more.

Cloud Backups and Data Management

With processes and data identified for business continuity, an off-site backup plan using cloud backups will ensure data is accessible when your primary business location is offline.  Cloud backup data must not only be available offsite, but it must also be able to be mounted and brought online in a usable fashion by displaced employees.  This is the job of the IT management service and will use virtual technologies and procedures identified during business continuity planning.

As your business is displaced and offline, if the disaster is regional, it is possible your IT provider may be displaced and offline as well.  This is another advantage of a cloud-based managed IT service provider with dispersed resources and employees.

Use Warm Sites for Business Continuity

Instead of buying additional servers and looking for office space to setup shop in another city or state during a disaster, consider a "warm site". A warm site is a private cloud where copies of your servers with backups can reside ready to work in short notice. Should a business continuity plan be executed, instead of pulling servers and devising ways for scattered employees to connect remotely, you simply restore recent changes to your warm servers, spin them up, and then use virtual desktops so employees can connect and work from anywhere.

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