These days businesses extensively rely on technology. What would happen to your business if you lost the use of your computer systems for a week or more because of a fire or other disaster? The fact is that 93% of businesses that lose their computer networks for ten days or more due to a disaster file for bankruptcy within one year. The technical component is key to any business continuity plan.
Recent advancements in technology have allowed business continuity solutions to be within reach for even the smallest of businesses. Planning is the first step to a Business Continuity Plan. Here are nine steps to think about when working on a business continuity plan:
1. Critical Applications/Systems
What critical applications/systems are necessary for business continuity? (Accounting system, email, job files, client files)
2. Acceptable Recovery Time
What length of time between disaster and recovery is acceptable?
3. Data Backup Strategy
Is your critical data being backed up off-site? How often?
4. Servers/Network Recovery
Can you acquire similar equipment to what you have to restore data to? Do you have installation media and proof of licenses/keys? Can the plan be tested?
5. Location of Network
If your people don’t have an office and can work from home, can you provide the servers/network as a hosted resource to allow dispersed employees to work?
6. Location of Offices
Will your employees work at home, or do you need to plan for a portable office location?
Will your phone lines allow for remote forward? Can you move your phone lines to another location easily?
8. Emergency Contact List
Have a reference of your emergency contacts to help execute your business continuity plan in multiple locations.
Creating a plan without testing creates a false sense of security.
Any process of strategically thinking about what is important in your business can pay dividends. By thinking through these nine areas, you might find efficiencies in how your business can better function now. Business Continuity Planning is something that used to only happen in large businesses. But now it is possible to have a plan that is both cost effective and useful for businesses of any size. It might just save your business.