Business continuity planning is the first line of defence when it comes to protecting your organisation against the unexpected. Fire, flood, theft or malicious attacks on your systems could reduce or permanently damage your ability to do business, causing panic. To avoid such unthinkables, taking precautions and making plans are key to ensuring that any disruption that comes your way can be managed quickly and efficiently with an effective disaster recovery strategy.
Sounds easy enough if you say it quickly, but as anyone who’s managed IT recovery on this scale before knows, recreating an entire operation (sometimes off-site) with minimal impact on a business’s day-to-day operation, requires strategic thinking, expert planning, practicality, serious organisational skills and cross-business collaboration. This is why so many businesses in London employ the help of an IT consultant to help them get it right.
Because so many businesses require secondary office space, resources and IT skills in the event of a disaster or recovery incident, business continuity planning is not something you can leave to chance and mobilise easily if something happens.
A good business continuity plan will include:
- Arrangements for alternate office space (if required)
- The basic facilities and services to allow the business to keep functioning
- A plan to restore critical IT applications and
- The IT infrastructure necessary to recover normal business processes
It’s a big job, but with local expert IT support, it’s something you can plan well, allowing you to rest a little easier, knowing everything you need is in place and good to go, if you ever need it.
What can an IT consultant help with?
- Project managing the plan from start to finish, getting buy-in from senior managers and collaboration across the business. An outsourced IT service can create and put your business continuity plan in place, or help your existing IT team build one in-house, assigning clear roles and responsibilities, and training employees on what will be expected of them if the plan ever needs to be put into action, should disaster strike.
- Evaluating risk and adding protection and cyber security where there are vulnerabilities. For example, automated malware updates or increased user security to protect sensitive customer data.
- Performing impact analysis, identifying business-critical processes and the knock-on effects of events such as a power outage that brings down a business’s online payment systems.
- Developing a business continuity strategy that includes business-critical systems, maintaining functionality, prioritising services and creating a failsafe environment that allows the business to remain operational and profitable. This would include a process-level strategy with step-by-step plans detailing how essential services will be restored, what is involved in data recovery, and who is responsible for each task.
- Creating a crisis management process, documenting the tasks required end-to-end, and training each employee on their responsibilities. This should also include designing the contingency plan for individual business units, so every team understands exactly where they fit in the bigger BCP picture, and the priority tasks in the event of an incident.
BCP Culture Building
- Training businesses on how to raise awareness of the importance of best practices such as safe and compliant back-up of data, encouraging cross-business collaboration and sharing helpful, practical tips on how to manage ongoing employee training (without the IT jargon).
Testing, Maintenance and Auditing
- Helping a business test and audit plans with a robust IT health-check strategy for new or existing BCPs. This should include running live exercises to make sure everything works as it should, so you can get a sense of what it’s like to go into BCP mode in real-time, identify any gaps in the process and take actions to put it right before a real event occurs.
At pebble.it, we can provide the IT support your organisation needs to create and maintain an effective Business Continuity Plan that will keep things business as usual, even if an unforeseen setback occurs.
Find out what you need to do to keep your business running, and how we can help, by downloading our Business Continuity Plan Checklist: