Business Continuity Planning Made Easy
Think by Blytheco, LLC has teamed up with several experts in the business continuity industry to develop a blog miniseries about the importance of backing up data and enhancing your business’s continuity plans (BCP’s) and disaster recovery procedures. The series, titled ‘Back it Up’, is meant to connect you with the information and resources you need before the occurrence of data loss.
Every business-owner should have a business continuity plan…plain and simple. If one doesn’t, he/she may not only lose important information, but also the business itself! 80% of businesses affected by a major incident either never reopen or close within 18 months.
The Journal of Applied Management Studies says that Business Continuity Planning is “planning which identifies the organization’s exposure to internal and external threats and synthesizes hard and soft assets to provide effective prevention and recovery for the organization, whilst maintaining competitive advantage and value system integrity.”
Last November I attended a small, invitation-only IT conference in Chicago that discussed these very elements. The conference consisted of private technology briefings that were open to the industry’s most esteemed and established IT service providers. The briefings provided the best updates on cool new stuff that solves real business problems.
One such gem came the first morning with a fabulous presentation on business continuity planning. The presenter was discussing a newly-developed toolkit and software-as-a-service solution that solves several problems in BCP (Business Continuity Planning). This 30-year veteran of IT and his team have crafted a solution that makes business continuity planning structured and organized… and dare I say, almost easy.
Introduced was a 64-step methodology reinforced by a software-as-a-service platform. The 64 steps are not just limited to a technology approach to BCP. The process starts by identifying internal and external champions that are essential sponsors of any successful business continuity planning process. These plans require not only the involvement of IT personnel but, are in fact, most reliant on HR and the CFO.
A part of the methodology are site inspections, identifying pertinent risk areas and contingency plans. Among the audience, questions were asked about everything from weather disasters to earthquakes. Even terrorism and pandemics were addressed. During the conference, someone asked “who will respond and work the plan in a disaster and what if he/she abdicates their duty?” Considerations such as this must be addressed. Access to the BCP should remain open and available to several employees due to the chance of employee unavailability. Insurance company statistics indicate that 90% of companies that fail to resume operations within 5 days of a data disaster are out of business within one year. 78% of the companies who suffer a disaster without a business continuity plan are out of business in two years. That results in lost jobs, lost wealth, and lost equity.
The BCP process is somewhat time consuming, but this structured approach makes the task manageable, achievable, and durable.
Oli Thordarson is the CEO of Alvaka Networks, a provider of network security and network management services. With over 28 years of experience, Oli is the founding chairman of the Global MSP Network and currently serves on the board of CompTIA and the Technology Leadership Political Action Committee.
Alvaka Networks is distinguished for its many industry awards, including the NASBA Top VAR Award. Alvaka Networks is headquartered in IRVINE, CA.