5 Essential Steps to Business Continuity – Don’t Take the Risk of Rolling Out a BCP Without Them
If there’s one thing that 2020 taught us, it’s that being unprepared is a huge risk. Crossing your fingers and hoping that nothing goes wrong doesn’t cut it anymore.
Without a Business Continuity Plan, you’re left scrabbling for solutions, losing control, and jeopardising operations. Whether it’s a system crash, being held to ransom or suddenly moving your workforce offsite, you need to be prepared when disaster strikes.
At Qirx, we’ve been contributing the IT expertise to Business Continuity Plans (BCP) for years but over the past eighteen months, demand has soared. Schools, corporates, government departments, and everyone in between are focusing on what needs to happen when disaster strikes.
The secret to a successful BCP is tapping into the knowledge held by your team. Trying to gather information during an emergency is too late. While a BCP looks at your business as a whole and puts the safety of your people first, your business operations are built around IT. The technology and ICT section of your BCP is integral to successful achieving continuity.
Ensure the successful rollout of your BCP by addressing these five points:
- As Built Documentation – Taking the final step to document a system update is crucial but commonly overlooked. It is key to the recovery of a business when a disruptive event strikes. Ticking off that final step and updating configuration changes as they happen will save future heartache. Often, we come in for the sole purpose of updating current configuration documents to protect your business.
- Data security and backup strategy – How your data is secured is important. A modern datacentre has data security (encryption, access controls, firewalls), load balancing/high availability, and backups. Your plan needs to outline how these will be used in the event of a disaster. Balancing resources between multiple sites prevents reliance on a single data point and enables recovery in the event that a datacentre is lost. You’ll also need the ability to recover encryption systems and access control systems that authenticate user data access. Last but not least, a backup of the router and switch configurations will ensure we can recreate the network.
- Scenario planning– Have you considered all the possible scenarios and outcomes? Work through these and put risk mitigation in place. Record them all as a single recovery plan. Your scenarios will range from single system failure to the dreaded total environment failure. When you know how to recover from a total failure, how applications relate to each other and their dependencies, we can rely on the recovery plan to enact a recovery for the smallest to largest incident.
- Test the plans… or plan to fail – Testing the business recovery processes in your BCP is the secret to success. Without running simulated events to test the recovery ability, you won’t know until disaster strikes. Schedule proper testing of your plans at least every two years. Review your plans every six months for currency against the current infrastructure and team capabilities.
- Robust IT infrastructure – Many companies are dealing with inefficiency and instability causing systemic issues. These are already disrupting business operations. Obviously, recovering a six-year-old server that’s at the core of an IT environment is far more difficult that with today’s tech. Moving from legacy systems to a future focused solution is of utmost importance. A tailored solution to increase the reliability of your environment needs to be part of your BCP. Solutions including onsite Nutanix clusters, Qirx hosting, and Azure cloud hosting can be tailored to your business needs. It’s our job to help you select an affordable system that provides resilience in the event of a disaster.
Don’t get caught out in these increasingly turbulent times. Stay in control and give your company the ability to ‘keep the lights on’ no matter the scale of the event. By addressing these five points you’ll be on the front foot and can feel confident that your BCP is strong.
With 21 years of expertise, Qirx is here to support you and your team. Get in touch to leverage insight that will ensure the safety and security of your business when the unexpected happens.