Business continuity is an incredibly important part of running a business, but some smaller organizations underestimate just how crucial it is in the event of a disaster. Although FEMA estimates that more businesses are taking advantage of business continuity than ever before, not enough are. Business continuity is something that must be planned for, practiced consistently, and updated as needed. Does your business have a business continuity plan?
Here are three things to keep in mind when putting together a quality business continuity plan.
Keep Each Department in Mind
Business continuity is something that should be applied to the entirety of your business--not just your IT infrastructure. You want to ensure that your entire in-house team has a say in your business continuity plan, specifically to ensure that--in the event of a disaster--they are able to get back in action as soon as possible. If each of your departments can ensure access to important information post-disaster, it makes it much easier to recover in the long run. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that each department has access to mission-critical data, that their processes are moving forward at a steady pace, and has three points of contact within the organization.
A plan is worthless if you don’t know how to implement it. You should think of practicing your business continuity plan as a fire drill for your organization. By planning for the worst and practicing what you do in the event of a data loss disaster, you ensure that your business can realistically pull off what the business continuity plan demands in your time of need. Make sure that each of your team members knows their individual roles in your business continuity plan, and keep everyone updated on changes made to the process so that your staff is on the same page. Depending on how often you practice your business continuity plan, you’ll start to see whether certain details are missing or obsolete, giving you time to change them before your plan is needed at all.
The 3-2-1 Data Recovery Rule
It wouldn’t be a business continuity plan if it didn’t include data backup and disaster recovery in at least some capacity. Manually backing up your data can be a dangerous tactic, as you’re relying on systems that aren’t automatic and could be subject to user error. Furthermore, you need more than just one copy of your business’ data in order to ensure proper recovery. If one copy is destroyed, you better have a backup in place. A way to guarantee that this doesn’t happen to your organization is the 3-2-1 rule.
Here’s a quick run-down of the 3-2-1 rule:
- You should have three backups of your data at the very least.
- Two of these should be stored on various types of media, such as a server, external hard drive, USB drive, etc.
- One of these should be stored off-site, like in the cloud or a secure data center.
By using this method, if one of your data backups is destroyed it won’t ruin your business (or your comprehensive continuity plan).
Ashton Technology Solutions can help your business build a business continuity plan specifically designed to suit the needs of your organization. To learn more, reach out to us at 216-397-4080.