50% of businesses have reported a disruption which has shut down their systems for at least a day within the last 5 years.
Not only can this poorly affect your company’s productivity reputation with clients at the time, but without a good business continuity strategy, it can continue to have a lasting effect on your staff, profits, and customers.
One vital element of strong business continuity can be backup and disaster recovery. Using trustworthy solutions for these can have a huge impact in your staff’s confidence in the face of a serious incident, and on how quickly you can get back to business as usual.
What is Business Continuity?
Business continuity refers to the process of planning and preparing for potential disruptions to business operations, with the aim of ensuring essential business functions can continue to operate during and after an unexpected event.
The goal of business continuity planning is to minimise the impact of these events and ensure that critical business processes can be quickly restored to minimise downtime and maintain customer satisfaction.
Effective business continuity planning involves identifying potential risks, developing strategies to mitigate those risks, and regularly testing and updating plans to ensure they remain effective in the face of changing circumstances.
What are Some Threats Against Business Continuity?
A few things can poorly affect the standard of Business Continuity your company is able to achieve. A few common culprits are listed below:
The most obvious way business continuity can be affected is by the events which cause down-time in themselves. This may come in the form of a cyber-attack or other data link. It could also mean natural events such as snow, heatwaves, or storms which could cause disruption to your systems, networks, or people. Another common threat is a failure in your businesses supply chain, for example, due to a resource shortage or a supplier going out of business.
Vague or Incomplete Plans
While many businesses have some kind of recovery or business continuity plan, many are not updated with the current systems or staff. Others offer only vague solutions which don’t make it clear who is responsible for what, or don’t cover the full scope of what may be affected by an event.
Poor Communication can also come in the way of effective business continuity. It may be that only those in a certain department or those of a certain level of seniority are aware of the plan. It may also be stored somewhere that most staff will be unable to access if an event should occur. Staff may also not fully understand their potential role in any plan due to lack of training or transparency.
Insufficient Tools or Technology
Staff are set up to succeed better with Business Continuity when they have access to tools which really help. For example, if backups are automated or straightforward to perform, it’s more likely these will regularly take place. If you invest in technology which mitigates your greatest risks, you may also be able to avoid outages altogether.
There are also tools which make the aftermath of disaster recovery easier and less reliant on specialist knowledge which may be lost during staff turnover.
How do Companies Move Towards Better Business Continuity?
Step 1: Conduct a risk assessment
Identify potential risks and threats to your business, such as natural disasters, cyber-attacks, or supply chain disruptions.
Step 2: Develop a business continuity plan
Create a detailed plan that outlines how your business will respond to potential disruptions. This plan should include key personnel roles, emergency response procedures, and strategies for restoring essential business operations.
Step 3: Test and refine your plan
Regularly test your business continuity plan to ensure that it remains effective and up-to-date. Use simulations or mock disasters to identify areas for improvement and refine your response procedures.
Step 4: Establish communication protocols
Create clear communication protocols for internal and external stakeholders, including employees, vendors, and customers. Ensure that everyone knows what to do and who to contact in the event of an emergency.
Step 5: Invest in technology and infrastructure
Implement technology and infrastructure that can help to mitigate potential risks, such as backup power systems, cloud-based data storage, and cybersecurity measures.
Step 6: Train your employees
Provide regular training to employees on emergency response procedures and business continuity best practices. Ensure that everyone understands their role in the event of a disruption and knows how to act quickly and effectively.
By taking these steps, businesses can move towards better business continuity and ensure that they are prepared to respond effectively to potential disruptions.
What are some Options for Backup and Disaster Recovery for Business?
Delving further into Step 5, how can backup and disaster recovery technologies mitigate risks? Below are some of our favourite tools for these purposes and explanations of how they can reduce down times and help your staff continue during unforeseen events.
iLand provides an integrated security and threat mitigation platform for businesses. It has the ability to replicate your servers, users, or entire sites in the cloud platform up to 3TB of data. This means that if you fall foul of, for example, ransomware, malicious deletion, or site failure, you can restore these almost instantly.
If your disaster recovery plan is still coming together, you can use the pre-configured disaster recovery strategies within the system, or you can customise these to fit with your existing plan.
Microsoft Azure is another strong contender if you’re looking for backup, with Azure’s functionality to replicate applications and data on the Microsoft Cloud.
Azure’s Site Recovery works to continuously replicate virtual machines to a secondary site, which can be used to quickly recovery business apps and data in the event of a disruption.
Like iLand, Azure encrypts data in transit and rest, which minimises the time your data could be vulnerable to attack. The automation capabilities and Resource Manager available with Azure additionally helps your team to easily setup and streamline your disaster recovery solution.
Business Continuity is an important consideration for any business. Setting up trustworthy systems for backing up data and automating some of the recovery process can be one major step to optimising your continuity plan and threat-proofing your business as much as possible.
If you’re looking for backup and disaster recovery options, the experts at SpiderGroup can help. We’re Gold Microsoft Partners who have helped many businesses get started with technology such as Azure and iLand Drass - from consultancy and setup to ongoing support.
Get in contact with us to start improving your Business Continuity today.