Does Your Business Have a Business Continuity Plan?
Disaster can strike at any time and in most cases with little or no warning. While we may be able to predict certain weather systems or anticipate general problems such as power outages, for the most part it is almost impossible to know when a disaster will strike. To protect your clients and your business in the event of an emergency you must cover all the basics before disaster strikes. Both managed service providers and the companies they support should have a business continuity plan (BCP) as well as a disaster recovery plan to contain the damage that results from man-made or natural disasters. Here we discuss the need for such a plan and what you can do to ensure your business stays up and running following an emergency.
Understand the need- Many companies are so busy in the here and now they fail to think about the “what ifs” that could be right around the corner. When the sun is shining brightly and everything is working in tip top form, it is easy to overlook the need for a business continuity plan. Unfortunately if you wait until you need a plan to devise a plan it will be too late. A business continuity plan will outline the steps your company will take immediately after a disaster takes place. This plan will determine how you will continue operations as well as recover and restore any data that was compromised. Without a plan of action for the minutes, hours and days immediately following a disaster, your business will likely not survive.
Work with your managed service provider- Managed service provider’s offer many services that are vital to your day-to-day operations. A good managed service provider will offer suggestions and advice on how to develop your BCP and what services they can provide in the event of a disaster. Getting your business up and running requires the resumption of communications, data, applications and hardware which is more than likely supported by your managed service provider.
Develop, test and update your BCP- Once you have identified your immediate needs during or after an emergency you can develop your BCP with information provided by your managed service provider. Writing a BCP is just the first step. Your entire staff must be prepared for a disaster and trained accordingly. Mandatory training and testing is needed to spot weaknesses in the plan. Once you feel your plan is effective and everyone is prepared for a disaster, don’t fall into a false sense of security. Your BCP should be routinely tested and updated to reflect your current operating systems.
Disaster recovery plans and business continuity plans are necessary if you want your business and company to make it through any number of natural or man-made disasters. By working closely with your managed service provider you can rest assured that all your bases are covered when disaster strikes.