Do you have an effective business continuity plan?

Systems going down are a profit-killer for any size business, whether it be due to weather, technology or some other form of disaster, it’s important to be prepared for the worst.

The aim of any business continuity plan is to allow senior staff members and employees get on with the IT and other activities calmly; knowing exactly what steps need to be taken to get systems and networks back up and running as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Building an effective business continuity plan can seem a daunting task so we have developed a simple 5 step help guide to get you started.

Step 1 – Get Support

Having the support of your senior executives is key in building up a plan. Not only will verbal support, insight and advise be crucial but also financial resources will be required to implement an effective plan. It’s also vital that key business members highlight the importance of a good strategy to other employees.

Step 2 – Identifying your business requirements

Next, it’s time to identify and document critical business functions that will need support in the aftermath of a disaster to properly allocate your business continuity resources. To best determine your resource prioritisation, you will need to discuss in depth with each department of the business what business systems need to be up to prevent disruption of its core function and what is the maximum tolerable downtime (MTD) for the systems in question.

Step 3 – Determining recovery speed

Following this, you will need to turn your attention to the underlying technology for the systems you’ve documented. Knowing an accurate restoration time for said systems from your technology specialists is crucial to realising your business’ likely recovery time and the true investment needed into technology. This figure becomes your RTO – recovery time objective.

Step 4 – Dealing with the gaps

You’ve now got 2 key pieces of information for each system – the MTD’s and the RTO’s and you will need to identify cases where the MTD is less than the RTO. After discussions with key leaders in the departments, some gaps maybe be acceptable whereas others may require investment into additional systems, adding fault tolerance capabilities or other commitments of time and money to either reduce the recovery time or increase the tolerable downtime.

Step 5 – Maintaining the program

All businesses evolve and change over time, and a successful disaster recovery plan needs to evolve and be reviewed regularly to ensure it will remain robust and effective in the face of a disaster.

BCN Group have invested into the infrastructure and facilities required to support a robust business continuity strategy. Our infrastructure is ISO27001 accredited and our systems and processes are aligned to ISO9001, meaning that our clients can be confident that we can provide full business assurance.

If you would like to discuss your business continuity plan with BCN Group, contact us on 0345 095 7000 or email sales@bcn.co.uk.