Business Continuity refers to a company’s ability to continue its core operations during and after a disaster which has affected their business. This is part of the larger field of disaster recovery.
Disaster recovery refers to the implementation of planned emergency measures during a business disaster to restore the company to a baseline level of operations. The business continuity part specifically refers to efforts to maintain core business operations during the actual disaster itself. A disaster in this context could mean a variety of scenarios including both physical disasters (office fire, flood, power cut) and digital disasters (data breaches, ransomware attacks).
An example of effective business continuity would be as follows:
A company may have its entire network replicated and backed-up to the cloud. In the event of a disaster making their office unreachable (for example a flood in the building makes it unsafe to enter for a time), staff working from home during the disaster can connect to virtualised a copy of their network running on a cloud service like Microsoft Azure. Although perhaps not as convenient or efficient as working from their office in the long-term, in the short-term it allows them to continue serving their customers and conducting business, thus their business has established continuity during the disaster recovery process.
How Do I Get Started?
Every business should have some form of a business continuity plan in place, but not every business will have the resources or budget to be able to perform all of their functions during the midst of a disaster. Therefore, the first step in creating an effective disaster recovery plan is to determine which functions of your business are essential and then work on a plan to maintain those within your set budget.
If the ability to keep in contact customers and operate a helpdesk was your most important function then you would need to ensure that during a disaster you had a workable, cloud-based VoIP telecoms system in place that your staff could access from any device.
How Can Carden IT Services Help Me?
At Carden IT Services, our disaster recovery teams will work with you and your account manager to build a bespoke business continuity and disaster recovery plan which will give you peace of mind that even when faced with the unexpected – you’ll still be able to maintain operations and provide a good level of customer service with minimal downtime.
Planning for disaster recovery and business continuity is a fantastic time to examine your entire network holistically. Preparing for a disaster often means streamlining technologies and addressing vulnerabilities, this in turn improves the resilience and efficiency of your business as a whole.
If you are serious about maintaining business continuity during a disaster, you will require buy-in from staff across your organisation from entry level all the way to management and the c-suite. Just as everyone needs to know safety procedures and assembly points during a fire drill and you should have a designated first aid provider and fire marshal, during a disaster every staff member will have specific duties to perform in order to help your business get through a disaster.