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A Guide to Business Continuity: Getting Started with a Plan

A document on a work desk with the words business continuity plan on the cover

Unfortunately, disasters of all kinds can strike a business at any given time. Whether it be a natural disaster such as a flood or fire, cyberattack, or a data breach, it is important to always be prepared and know how to get your operations back up and running normally. This is where business continuity comes into play. Business continuity is all about continuing your business operations no matter what disasters have put your daily routine at a halt. Read on to learn about business continuity services, why it matters, and the beginning steps to take to create an effective plan for your business.

What is business continuity?

Business continuity is the act of maintaining business functions or quickly resuming them in the event of disasters that cause operational disruption. It is essentially a detailed plan that outlines procedures and specific instructions that organizations must follow if and when a disaster has occurred.

Business continuity is often confused with disaster recovery planning. It’s important for all businesses to understand that disaster recovery is a single part of a full business continuity plan that focuses on restoring IT infrastructure and operations after a disaster occurs. A complete, thorough business continuity plan should consider the continuity of a business in its entirety.

Why is business continuity planning important for my business?

No matter whether you run a small business or a large corporation, it is important for companies of all kinds to know how to effectively respond in times of an operation crisis. Furthermore, downtime costs add up quickly with every hour that your company fails to operate. Having a strong, effective business continuity plan will ultimately help your business save money, save valuable time, and build credible reputations.

3 Starter Steps to Creating an Effective Business Continuity Plan

  1. Perform a Risk and Impact Analysis Test

The first thing organizations should do when creating a strong business continuity plan is to make predictions of the types of disasters that could disrupt their business and what consequences would follow. Running through these types of potential loss scenarios will better prepare your business for when the time of disaster actually occurs. There are a variety of factors resulting from a disaster that could disrupt daily operations for a business such as network crashes, server, and hard drive crashes, extended power outages, etc. The COVID-19 pandemic taught us that health and safety policies for employees and customers, as well as remote work procedures, can be important aspects of a business continuity plan. Knowing the best ways to get your operations back up and running with as little downtime as possible is crucial for any business.

  • Develop a Disaster Recovery Strategy

In today’s digital world, businesses rely heavily on technology to keep their operations going. When that technology fails to perform, it has the ability to put an entire organization at a standstill that could result in a variety of negative impacts. After you have predicted the outcomes of potential disasters to your business, the next step is to figure out how your IT infrastructure could be recovered after an outage. For example, businesses that are hit with ransomware attacks need to have a backup and recovery system in place. The system needs to hold all of the essential data and be able to be recovered quickly in order to reduce the organization’s downtime. Identifying any weaknesses to IT recovery will help businesses better prepare when an actual disaster occurs.

One of the smartest and most efficient ways to ensure efficient disaster recovery for your business is to hire a professional IT provider that can respond immediately in the case of a technology emergency.  This way, the technology experts will handle the issue and allow you to focus on your business.

  • Test Your Plan and Train Employees

Testing a business continuity plan is the only way that organizations can be confident they will be successful in a real crisis. Furthermore, plans will only become stronger the more you put them to the test and identify any weaknesses that are hindering efficiency. After creating a business continuity plan, it is important to walk through the procedures and instructions with everyone in the organization so that there is familiarity with what is needed during times of unexpected crisis. Over time, it will also be important to review business continuity plans and make updates, when necessary, as an organization grows and evolves.

Find Business Continuity and IT Support Services with BrightLink Technology

At BrightLink Technology, we understand that the technology world is always evolving, and we want to help your business evolve with it. As a professional technology services provider, we do not stop once your network is stable, secure, and reliable. Our team of experts provides ongoing strategic expertise in managing risk and increasing the resilience of businesses in Jacksonville, Florida. If you are looking for business continuity and IT support services, contact our office today.