The last thing you want is to go out of business in the event of an unforeseen circumstance. A business continuity plan is essential for modern businesses in any industry. Regardless of what kind of technology you use, think of this plan as a blueprint for keeping your business running in the event of a major disaster.
Disasters come in many forms, including natural disasters, human error, cyber attacks, and insider threats. The worst disasters always have the same effect: stopping your business dead in its tracks.
Sometimes, it’s hard to really conceptualize the importance of a continuity plan without looking at what happens if you don’t have one.
Take, for instance, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Urban legend has it that the conflagration started when Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicked over a lantern in the family barn. The fire’s origin is debatable. The aftermath, however, is well documented and devastating by any standards.
The Great Chicago fire completely destroyed 3.2 miles in the heart of Chicago, rapidly consuming homes and businesses. The inferno resulted in the death of 300 citizens, the destruction of 17,500 buildings, Of the 300,000 residents of Chicago, 100,000 were left homeless.
The 185 firefighters employed within Chicago were ill-equipped to handle the ferocious spread of the fire, which was attributed to a drought as well as the mostly wooden construction of the city’s buildings, roads, and sidewalks.The total cost of the fire was estimated at $222 million, or roughly $4.6 billion today.
When a disaster this large happens, the only way for a business to survive is to have an understanding of what needs to be protected, how you want to respond, and which practices to follow to continue operations. Here are the 5 most important things to focus on when putting together a continuity plan.
1. Minimizing Downtime
The primary reason for a business continuity plan is to eliminate downtime. 75% of businesses don’t have any sort of business continuity plan or disaster recovery plan. Skipping out on a continuity plan is not only reckless, but extremely expensive.
ITIC’s latest survey data finds that 98% of organizations say a single hour of downtime costs over $100,000.Those aren’t numbers to be ignored. Whether you suffer a natural disaster or a cyber attack, the only way to stay in business is to continue your work as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may very well go out of business.
2. Protecting What’s Important
A business continuity plan should detail the necessary components and data that will keep your business running. This involves inventory of backup devices and cloud services, as well as an outline of your data backup specifics (when and where) and an overview of how company assets will be handled when disaster strikes.
3. Communicating with Confidence
One of the primary benefits of creating a business continuity plan is to establish a state of order amid the chaos. Your plan should focus on a chain-of-command delegation of responsibility, and should include reliable communication channels prioritized for contacting employees, partners and customers to minimize breakdowns in collaboration and service.
4. Resuming Operations
The goal of any business continuity plan is to get you back in business as soon as possible. Many companies have taken the extra precaution of utilizing backup and recovery sites. These are off-campus facilities where your business can be relocated to continue operations regardless of any damage or limited access you may experience.
These sites run the gamut from “cold sites”, which are bare-boned facilities without any installed operations, to “hot sites”, which are exact duplicates of your current operations.
5. Ensuring Your Recovery
A recent report finds that 60% of small businesses close within 6 months of a significant cyber attack. But this doesn’t have to be you. Implementing a business continuity plan to your current backup and data recovery solutions will allow you the peace of mind that even if disaster strikes, you don’t have to become a statistic.
We Are Here to Help
CCS Technology Group would be happy to help your business create a specific business continuity plan. We have proven experience developing solutions that will keep you in business no matter what outside forces may arrive.
It’s important to plan ahead. It might just save your business.
Give us a call or send us a message to learn more.