Businesses are all about the future. What is going to happen in the market? What products and services are next? How are sales looking? What production plans are in place? But not everything can be predicted, especially when it comes to your IT!
Even without the power of premonition, there is a way to prepare for the challenges and roadblocks that may be ahead. And that is business continuity.
What is business continuity?
Business continuity refers to the ability of an organization to maintain essential function in and after a disaster. Organizations create plans for business continuity encompassing three key elements: resilience, recovery and contingency.
A business continuity plan for IT covers methods to ensure uninterrupted delivery of critical IT services, as well as identifying the resources needed to maintain business continuity from an IT perspective. This means having the right resources in the case of a disaster. It also means mitigating risk associated with various scenarios, from natural disasters such as an earthquake and cyber-attacks to power outages and transportation disruptions that stop employees getting to the office.
A good business continuity plan helps reduce risk while also preparing the business for when the unpredictable happens.
The difference between business continuity and disaster recovery
Business continuity and disaster recovery can appear almost interchangeable – but the two do have some important differences. A disaster recovery plan is used specifically for the recovery of critical business applications in the event of a crisis. A business continuity plan takes this a step further, looking at disaster from a higher level, looking at how the business will continue operations in the event of a disaster from start to end. It includes not only the recovery of applications, but also the prevention of disasters and what staff should do when the worst does happen.
Disaster recovery is an important part of business continuity, making it crucial to consider both when developing a solid plan.
Preparing for the future of digital
The creation of a business continuity plan requires deep insight and understanding of an organization. By working closely with all levels of a business, a specialist can work through the process of creating a plan that will ensure your business is prepared, whatever happens. This will include not only designing the plan, but also training staff and testing it in a real-life scenario, reviewing the results afterwards. This plan should also be re-evaluated on a regular basis to ensure it meets the needs of the business.
Business continuity is an essential component of any organization but setting it up can be difficult. Read more about business continuity and how to create a plan in our eBook or talk to one of the ATG team to see how we can help!