If you run a business then you may already know the importance of backing up data, securing your network and fending off viruses and hackers. But, have you thought about what to do if the something physically happens to your infrastructure? Do you know what you would do if you had a fire, storm damage or theft? Recovering from a major failure is one thing, and many businesses never come back. But, being able to maintain business in the aftermath of a major event is another thing entirely. This is why it is important to create a business continuity plan. Here are some things you can do to more easily develop a plan to get your IT infrastructure back on track after a major disaster.
Take Into Account Where the Business is Headed
It may be easy to think about where your business is today when developing a business continuity plan. It is better than nothing, but you actually need to be thinking of how your business is growing when developing the plan. If you have major implementations on the horizon then those should be considered. You need to understand how a major disaster would impact those projects. Furthermore, if your business has to change directions after a disaster then it could have severe negative consequences on future growth and goals if future tasks are not considered.
Include Several People or Departments in the Planning
The IT department is the obvious one to include in the development of the continuity plan. This task usually falls on their shoulders anyways. But, other input needs to be added from other people. The reason for this is because you need other viewpoints considered. People who work in IT pretty much think about things in that world. To them, they may just be thinking about certain elements of a business that are important. They will be thinking about recovering backups, allocating hardware, getting cable ran and other similar tasks. But, there is much more to it than that.
Other departments will be able to provide what they deem crucial to running business on a day to day schedule. Perhaps there are important paper files that are needed. Maybe certain applications and hardware are needed to run payroll or pay vendors. These are the types of processes and applications an IT department may not think about if they were developing a plan themselves.
There is a good chance the IT department, or “IT Guy”, will be the one writing this plan. But, it is crucial he or she interviews other people in the organization to get a big picture for the continuity plan.
Understand The Entire IT Ecosystem
Someone needs to understand how all the IT infrastructure ties in with other pieces of the infrastructure. It may seem obvious to some that getting phones reestablished would be a high priority. But, what good does that do if you do not understand about how that ties in with telecommunications carriers, or if the proper cabling is not installed in a new location? It is important to understand dependencies with other systems before deciding how to get a business back on its feet.
Developing a business continuity plan is crucial these days. We live in a world that sees all kinds of threats to business. These include natural disasters, but also attacks from hackers and cyber criminals. It is important to always be thinking of the worst case scenarios and what it would take to get back up and running if the worst would ever happen.