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Overlooked Elements of Business Continuity

Posted on 19/05/2016

Businesses are increasingly seeing the value in Business Continuity. Where in years gone by Business Continuity planning may have been an afterthought or a luxury discussion, it is now seen as critical to effective business operations. This is in no small part down to the increasing value of data which is now central to how many businesses operate. Despite this importance, there are a number of elements that we find are on occasion overlooked when considering a Business Continuity plan. In this article we aim to highlight those factors and explain just why they should be included in any continuity strategy.

1) Review and Re-do

One of the most overlooked elements of continuity planning is the cyclical nature of the process. Rather than being a linear process it is something that should be continually revised and improved to ensure it is the most efficient that it can possibly be. Only by doing that can you recover in a time efficient manner which not only reduces the impact of any downtime in terms of business activity, but also negates the financial impact that downtime can cause.

When improving a business continuity plan it is important to not just review this once it has been put into practice, but at regular timed intervals. In an ideal scenario a plan may not need to be put into action for a considerable period of time, by which point your procedures may be outdated and inefficient. It may also be the case that your business has changed considerably since your plan was initially put together. Things such as new team structures and new technology all need to be considered within the plan, making it critical to review on a regular basis.

2) Cloud Leads the Way

Cloud adoption continues to grow at an incredible rate due to the benefits it offers in terms of scalability, flexibility and cost savings, but it can also provide substantial improvements from a business continuity perspective.

Take for instance backup procedures. By switching to a cloud backup platform the time spent managing your backups, including storing tapes in a secure location, is completely removed and the restoration procedures are considerably shortened. This, alongside other advantageous features, enhances your businesses resiliency making business continuity planning much easier.

The same could be said for cloud hosting. Whether you host everything in the cloud, or just business critical systems, the off-site nature of the hosting creates an environment which is resilient and much easier to access should a disaster occur whereby your premises or equipment is damaged.

3) Create a Bespoke Solution

Quite often organisations will try to sell solutions that they claim are suitable for a number of different companies, and in some cases this is absolutely fine, but not when it comes to business continuity plans.

Even if two businesses are operating in the same industry and are roughly the same size in terms of turnover and staff count, their business continuity plans will be completely different. Each plan needs to take into consideration the different internal structures, the physical location of the buildings, the IT infrastructure, the telephony arrangements and a whole host of other elements which all lead up to a detailed business continuity plan.

This vast array of contributing factors is precisely why no two organisations can use the same business continuity plan, as it may look suitable on first inspection, it would be completely unusable when it comes to actually deploying the solution in the event of a business disruption.

4) People are a Priority

Although it is important, a lot of organisations will start and end a business continuity plan with their technology. How will we access our data? Where will our telephones route to? Can we use mobile devices? These are all valid questions but what also must be considered is who will access this data? Who will be there to pick up the phones after diversions? Are certain teams able to work from mobile devices?

This is where a workplace recovery facility is ideally suited to allow access to all of your critical data and systems in an office like environment. This means your key staff can continue to work as normal just in a different location. Again this needs to be carefully considered so that you are close enough to make relocation an easy process, but at a distance which is unlikely to be effected simultaneously by disasters such as road closures or adverse weather conditions.

Onyx have a number of strategic partners which allows customers access to a wide network of sites outside of our own flagship workplace recovery facilities. This means organisations can select primary, secondary and tertiary facilities they would like to relocate to, depending on the number of offices they may have or the nature of the disaster.

It is important to note that this list is not the be all and end all of a business continuity plan, there are many factors which need to be considered in order to plan effectively. At Onyx we have an extensive history of working with some of the UK’s most well-known brands to implement business continuity and Disaster Recovery strategies to ensure continuous business operations. This experience, alongside our technical knowhow and expertise puts us in the perfect position to be able to advise you on your continuity journey.

If you have any questions around business continuity and disaster recovery, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of the team who will be happy to answer and queries that you may have.

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