Are you ready for the next hurricane? Can your business survive without a business continuity plan or environment? How much money do you lose per day if your business systems are inaccessible? Just because your systems are being backed up, this does not mean you are set up for Business Continuity. Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and Disaster Recovery (DR) are used together so often that people often begin to forget that there is a difference between the two. BCP refers to plans about how a business should plan for continuing in case of a disaster. DR refers to how the IT (information technology) should recover in case of a disaster or complete loss of hardware.
If you think practically, a BCP is a plan that allows a business to plan in advance what it needs to do to ensure that its key products and services continue to be delivered (technicality: at a predefined level) in case of a disaster, while a DR allows a business to plan what needs to be done immediately after a disaster to recover from the event. So, a BCP tells your business the steps to be taken to continue its key product and services, while a DR tells your business the steps to be taken to recover post an incident. As an example, during our recent Hurricane Irma, we had customers who lost power and/or internet at their business for over a week. Although there are off-site backups which are there for disaster recovery, this is not something that is feasible or cost effective for non-hardware loss outages such as power or internet outages.
Your impact analysis, your business continuity strategy and business continuity plans are a part of BCP. Your incident response, emergency response, damage assessment, off-site backup recovery, etc. are all a part of IT-DR. It makes sense to divide your planning into two parts:
- Planning to continue your business operations
- Planning to recover from disaster situations
As an example, PC Lan Techs was fully operational as our workforce continued working in a remote fashion and supporting our customers even though our local offices were out of power and internet for over a week. Here are a few examples of items you may consider having during prior to the next hurricane.
- Key servers which need to be accessible to ensure business continuity should be replicated or hosted in the cloud.
- Remote Desktop Servers in place to access your data remotely.
- Email should be hosted with Office365 or in the cloud. Email can be your most important communication tool during an outage.
- Using true VoIP technologies enable your workforce to work remotely by using their desk phones or mobility clients from anywhere.
- You should have contracts in place with a location where your workforce can temporarily occupy. Hotel conference rooms, virtual space locations with generator and internet redundancy, and datacenter disaster rooms are some examples of places you can have in place to ensure your business continues to function.
Please feel free to contact PC Lan Techs, Inc. at 561-682-1277. As your preferred IT Managed Services Provider, we want to make sure you are fully aware of your options so that your business continues to function.