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Business continuity planning, a must for every company

A solid and current business continuity plan is essential for every business looking to survive in 2021. Should the worst happen, you need to make sure your systems and teams can keep running in some capacity so your customers remain largely unaffected.

Factors including anything from flooding, adverse weather and fire as well as theft and cyber crime can have a critical impact on the running of your business. If your entire systems went down, or simply weren’t there tomorrow, what would you do?

Business impact analysis

The first step here is to identify the impact a threat would have on each area of the business and then prioritise each one. What’s the most crucial thing that, if it failed, would bring your business to it’s knees? Start with what would stop your business from running completely and order downwards to things that may have a slight impact on operations.

You’ll then be left with a list to tackle and draft out how you would overcome each scenario.

Planning

Firstly you’ll need a solid plan as to how your business can keep going in the event of a disaster, reaction timeframes, failovers, key responsibilities and solutions to each type of threat. The plan should suit the particular emergency as well as your organisation and should be tailored as such.

It’s important to involve key stakeholders here from every department so they are familiar with their roles and responsibilities and are fully aware how to put the wheels in motion at any moment. An incident response team is crucial to the continued running of your business.

Make a list of the steps your business has the current ability to take to rectify each one with minimal downtime.

GAP Analysis

You are now bound to have gaps in the resolution areas for the resources you have over the resources you need. You are very unlikely to have everything to overcome each potential threat. Here are some examples;

In the recent pandemic situation, were your teams immediately equipped to start working from home? Perhaps you need to move to a fleet of laptops to ensure they can.

Telephone systems are often overlooked, a sound VoIP system means even desk phones can be taken home or calls can easily be routed through laptops and mobiles. All that’s needed is an internet connection and your office phone systems will work as normal from any location.

If your servers are on premise and they hold all your company data, this is a huge risk to take in the event of a fire or criminal damage. Replicating them at a secure UK data centre so your systems can be restored or even moving them entirely over will eliminate this particular risk.

Decide what you now need, prioritise them, cost each item up and create a plan to implement each one in order. The cost of this will far outweigh the potential damage done to your business should the worst happen.

If there are any cheap or free ‘quick wins’ on the lower end of the priority scale then implement these too. This could be anything from low-cost antivirus software or communicating to teams that they must take laptops home every night. Whatever you can implement now will help.

Finalise your plan and regularly test it

Even after finalisation, a business continuity plan needs to be in constant motion and regularly tested and revised for it to work in practice and ultimately protect your business. Make sure you plan regular meetings with your stakeholders and conduct very regular testing.

This can be done safely with no impact to operations, from fake phishing emails that let you see how many people click, to simulating a disaster in a meeting room. Make testing a priority as an untested plan can be detrimental and expensive.

At Cloud Heroes, we’re able to run everything from completing the entire plan for you or we’ll work alongside your teams to help implement, test and resolve any gaps. We have our own UK data centres within easy reach of our experienced support team. Conforming to ISO 27001 standards, our infrastructure is monitored and maintained on a 24-7-365 basis, so you can rest assured your data is securely stored with us.

We’d love to help you keep your business going so call us today to chat through your requirements.

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