Friday, 15 August 2014 ehdf

Everything You Wanted To Know About Business Continuity

In the world of data back-up, a common confusion is that between Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity, as many organizations think of these as the same. However, this misunderstanding can lead to organizations being left at a significant risk due to inadequate planning. So before we talk about Business Continuity in detail, let us clear the confusion by saying that Disaster Recovery is only a subset of overall Business Continuity.

What is Business Continuity?
Business continuity is a sustained and long-term process that typically refers to the management’s foresight and planning in ensuring the continuous operation of a business with little or no downtime in the eventuality of any disaster. In summary, it includes a much larger scope than IT disaster recovery which is the recovery of IT infrastructure and systems.

Business Continuity Planning
It is advisable to first decide which of the organization’s functions are most critical so that the available BCM budget can be allocated accordingly. We recommend that companies consult with specialists who can provide expertise in this area and can help develop strategic plans.

According to Gartner, a business continuity plan should typically consist of:
-Disaster recovery plan that outlines an organization’s approach for post-failure measures
-Business resumption plan, highlighting various ways in which essential services at the crisis location are planned to be maintained
-Business recovery plan, specifying means of recovering business functions at an alternate location
-Contingency plan, clearly stating the means of dealing with external events that can affect the organization

Top benefits of BCM implementation
-Continuity of operations and service delivery
-Helps to build and retain customer confidence
-Increased reputation and trust
-Increased employee morale
-Helps mitigate business risks and financial exposures
-Minimal or no negative impact to facilities/asset
-Cost savings
-Meeting or exceeding pre-agreed recovery timelines (RTO/MAO)
-Avoiding potential legal action and claims/refunds

Did you know?
The top causes of business disruptions are:
-Applications failure and network infrastructure failure
-Power outage
-Human error
-Hacker attacks/virus/worms/cyber-attacks
-Critical supply chain outages

With this knowledge, it is important for organizations to prepare themselves for the worst and have a strategic business continuity plan in place.

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