What You Need to Know About Planning Your Business Continuity in Columbus

What happens if access to critical applications within your organization suddenly fails? Do you experience lost productivity, do you disappoint and potentially lose customers, or both? Will this outage cause harm to your reputation? It’s not a pleasant thought, so today we’re going to discuss the importance of planning your business continuity in Columbus.

A solid business continuity strategy is initiated by first identifying potential threats in all critical business processes. Next step is to map out which data, applications and systems support each business-critical process. Possible impact those threats may cause to your business operations are then outlined and the likelihood of each threat occurring are examined. This list of priorities now becomes the focus for building a framework and budget to fund resiliency initiatives for these core areas. The goal is to quickly recover and continue performing the most urgent activities required to deliver your products and services to your customers. This plan can be a challenge to implement. There are many factors that can disrupt operations and threaten your facility, whether it’s a natural disaster, fire, a hardware failure, security breach or human error.

Consider these troubling statistics:

96 percent of all business workstations are not being backed up (Contingency Planning and Strategic Research Corporation),

30 percent of small business will experience a natural disaster (National Federation of Independent Businesses),

40 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors following a disaster (FEMA)

60 percent of companies that lose their data will shut down within six months of the disaster (National Archives & Records Administration in Washington), and

93 percent of companies that lost their data center for ten or more days due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. (National Archives & Records Administration in Washington)

Following are the factors you need to consider when planning your business continuity in Columbus.

Evaluating What Uptime Really Means: Many organizations assume that if they have 99.99% uptime, they’re covered. This is important to day to day operations, but may have no bearing on your recoverability. In truth, recovery time after an event is a bit more complicated. Businesses depend on their IT systems, so reliability and system availability are significant components without which organizations cannot function. It is important to know exactly what you have in terms of uptime, and what that means for your particular business needs.

Redundancy in the Data Center: The basic challenge of business continuity in Columbus is that it’s all unknown. After all, how can you foresee an unidentified risk that you didn’t know about, let alone predict what the outcome will be? A water main break or fire can severely damage your building and data center. How long would it take you to restore access to your critical applications? You likely cannot answer that question. You can plan your business infrastructure by carefully focusing on most business-critical priorities. Maybe mention something about data center redundancy as this is the paragraph that is dedicated to redundancy.

Vendor Evaluations: Conducting third-party vendor (with whom you contract for services, especially cloud providers) assessments is a vital element of validating a business continuity plan. Understanding SLAs is vital and should be reviewed prior to signing with a vendor. SLAs should be continuously reviewed during the assessments of business continuity strategy. After all, it is your business functions that will come to a screeching halt in an event of your vendor’s hosted applications were to go off-line.

Balancing Cost: Budgeting your business continuity in Columbus starts with an assessment of your infrastructure that supports the critical business processes. An effective business continuity strategy balances cost and risk by determining which workloads are critical to your mission. It can be challenging to make a strong financial justification for business continuity because the only real way to measure ROI is after your organization has experienced a significant downtime event. Mitigating the risk of prolonged downtime and interruption is vital to most organizations.

Human Error: Humans aren’t robots. The strength of your business isn’t just about your data centers – it also has to include making sure your data isn’t compromised. A recent study revealed that a staggering 78% of respondents had experienced a data breach as a result of a negligent or malicious employee.

Refreshing and Testing Business Continuity Plans: A business continuity plan does not last forever so it’s important to put one in place and review it at regular intervals to ensure that it consistently meets the needs of your business over time. If you’re not thinking about business continuity in Columbus as an ongoing process, your strategy will become outdated, leaving you vulnerable.

It’s critical that you take time to figure out your specific backup, disaster recovery, and infrastructure needs before you have an incident that require days or weeks to recover due to the lack of planning. A single event could cause your business to close.

Having a plan is one critical part of being a responsible organization. If you are not yet convinced, talk to your customers and find out their opinion on how important business continuity plan is for your organization. We are experts at facilitating planning and executing business continuity in Columbus. Don’t wait another day – call our office today to schedule a consultation.

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