The Need for Business Continuity Planning
Every industry is vulnerable to unforeseen events that can bring normal operations to a grinding halt. When this occurs, it’s crucial for an organization to recover ASAP to provide goods and services to clients and avoid company-killing interruptions to revenue. To effectively and quickly recover, a plan must be in place before catastrophe strikes in one of many forms: ransomware and hacking attacks, natural disasters, equipment failures, and even employee error. A simple mistake like a misplaced laptop can result in serious consequences if confidential data falls into the wrong hands. Without comprehensive business continuity planning, organizations are at high risk of suffering financial and reputational damage.
Risks and Costs of Neglecting Business Continuity Planning
The risks of disaster striking without a plan in place are evident everywhere, but many organizations don’t start thinking about business continuity planning until it’s too late. Hurricane Sandy caused over $65 billion dollars in damage in October 2012, and according to the 2013/2014 Information Governance Benchmarking Survey, over 70% of those surveyed responded that the disaster recovery and business continuity planning and tools in place were lacking. Sadly, this lack of preparation hold true across many industries: according to The State of Global Disaster Recovery Preparedness Annual Report 2014, a report published by The Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council, 3 out of 4 of all companies are at risk with inadequate disaster recovery and business continuity planning and implementation. To summarize their findings, over 36% of surveyed companies had experienced the loss of 1 or more critical applications, data files, or virtual machines for “hours at a time” over the previous year, with almost 20% of respondents reported down systems and files for days. Worse than that, 25% of organizations reported the loss of all or the majority of an entire datacenter for hours or days at a time. These kinds of issues cause more than inconvenience and embarrassment, however, with the losses from outages ranging from a few thousand to millions of dollars of revenue, and nearly 1 in 5 companies reporting losses between fifty thousand and five million dollars over the year.
Most Businesses Still Neglect BC Planning
With this in mind, it may be surprising to find that the National Small Business Association performed a study one year after Hurricane Sandy struck and found that only 17% of organizations were operating with a business continuity and disaster recovery plan. That’s a shocking 83% percent of companies at risk for the terrible operational and financial losses described above.
Business Continuity Planning for Your Organization
A solid business continuity and disaster recovery plan won’t prevent disasters from happening of course, but having a robust BC / DR plan in place allows an organization to quickly recover from data loss, ransomware, and other catastrophes by identifying risk and laying out a pathway to recovery and continuity in advance. Having a strategy in place that includes the identification of responsible parties for each system at risk, phone numbers to call, data backup details and recovery procedures, failover instructions, and other industry, locality, and site specific tools is a godsend for anyone who’s experienced a problem effecting business continuity.
Business Continuity Plan Templates
It’s understandable that businesses are forgoing the effort involved in developing disaster recovery and business continuity plans; just determining where to begin can be a daunting task. For this reason, it’s advisable to use a disaster recovery or business continuity plan template to get started. A good business continuity plan template will provide a framework that can kickstart your implementation and provide easily modifiable segments to guide you through the development of your own custom plan.
In addition to using a business continuity template to get started, it can help to partner with a data protection provider with experience in developing and implementing disaster recovery and business continuity plans. The benefits of partnering with an experienced data protection provider are clear: they’ve been through this, and they know the risks involved that may not occur to you, as well as how to mitigate these risks. In addition, this partner becomes one of the numbers you can call when disaster does strike in order to quickly restore business operations; think about the calm, cool, and collected demeanor of a firefighter who’s encountered this kind of catastrophe a hundred times before and knows exactly how to quickly and efficiently put out the blaze.
At Armada Cloud, we’ve developed the tools and we offer the skills to make sure that your business continuity planning goes smoothly and effectively, resulting in comprehensive protection that minimizes downtime and disruptions.