Disasters, whether man-made or natural, can happen to anyone. While most people will admit this, a lot of us still have the mindset of “it won’t happen to me.” However, according to one study, storms and extreme weather alone have personally affected one-third of small business owners. And that doesn’t include other disasters such as earthquakes, fires or theft. So if you don’t want your business disrupted in the event of a catastrophe, it’s time to prepare for the worst. Here are a few ideas to get started with a business continuity plan that will ensure you are ready.
The difference between disaster recovery and business continuityWhile it’s easy to overlook the differences between a disaster recovery and business continuity plan, there are actually some key variations you should be aware of.
Disaster recovery is the restoration of business operations and IT infrastructure after a disaster has already occurred. Business continuity, on the other hand, is focused on maintaining business operations and profits throughout a disaster. While disaster recovery is mainly focused on the slice of time immediately following a disaster (how you replace your equipment and restore IT infrastructure asap), business continuity looks at the bigger picture - the continuity of the company as a whole. It ensures you can run your business and maintain profits during the process of recovering from a catastrophe. It generally includes a disaster recovery plan as part of it.
Creating your business continuity planThe first step in creating your plan is to identify which of your IT assets are vulnerable to disaster. To do this, you need to ask yourself some important questions, starting with what might happen if you were to lose the functionality of a specific asset for a day, a week or even longer. Answering this question will help you identify your most critical IT assets; the ones that are integral to your business operations.
Here are some other important questions to ask when drafting your business continuity plan:
- What is the purpose of my business continuity plan?
- What disasters can affect my IT infrastructure?
- What are my key business areas?
- Which different business areas, assets and departments depend on each other?
- What is the longest amount of time I can go without functionality of IT assets?
Need help creating your business continuity plan? Contact us today to see how we can help you stay running and turning profits when disaster hits.