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Sometimes, your business may face unpredictable events, whether natural disasters or accidental damages, consequently disrupting your business operation. This is typically true if you don't have an effective contingency plan to deal with such emergencies.
Great leaders are often prepared for business interruptions, creating plans and strategies to ensure business continuity, even under duress. Business continuity and disaster recovery are two major fields that address possible business interruptions. These fields reduce the impact a disruptive incident might have on an organization's ability to continue normal operations. However, while both fields are essential and even similar in some aspects, they are not the same. And, of course, have varying levels of effectiveness.
This article carefully explains the concept of business continuity planning, helping you stay prepared against certain business emergencies.
Disaster Recovery is a measure that businesses implement to return to safe and regular business operation as quickly as possible after an unplanned catastrophic event, such as fire outbreak, natural disaster, active shooter, etc.
While disaster recovery plans should be straightforward to follow, they should also be customized to suit the needs of your enterprise. Below is an outline of elements a typical disaster recovery plan should include:
Business Continuity Plan, on the contrary, is an outline of how an organization will ensure continued operations during and after a catastrophic event. Business continuity planning may consider minor disasters or interruptions, such as power outages, to ensure business operations in different situations, even if it means moving to an alternate location.
Let's closely consider the critical components of a business continuity plan needed to ensure successful recovery during an unpredicted disruption:
Your business' analysis phase for business continuity should include the following:
The business impact analysis helps enterprises determine the financial impacts of disruptions to their business operations. Impact analysis also helps create a business continuity plan that prioritizes the recovery of most business functions of your enterprise, regardless of the reason or cause of disruption, whether natural disaster, negligence of staff members, cyberattacks, etc.
Impact analysis comprises three (3) main components, business impact, timeframes, and dependencies.
Business impacts determine the most valuable business operations based on financial implications and identify potential threats to such operations. Dependencies also prioritize systems and functions, determining functions to be recovered and restored first before others. Undoubtedly, functions with more business processes relying on it will be prioritized for recovery than others.
Impact analysis addresses three (3) timeframes: Recovery Point Objective (RPO), Recovery Time Objective (RTO), and Maximum Allowable Downtime (MAD). While RPO refers to the time between data backups – i.e., the maximum time a data may be lost during a disrupt, RTO is the actual time to recover a backup and become operational. The Maximum Allowable Downtime (MAD) is the maximum downtime period an organization can afford. This also includes the time taken to restore various business functions to full operation after restoring the backup.
Your business continuity plan should consider these six (6) general types of risks. Companies with a business continuity plan covering these risks are better positioned to protect their staff and business against possible downtimes, maintaining daily operations.
These risks are:
Business continuity planning also includes identifying and documenting impact scenarios, reflecting the broadest possible business damages.
These impact scenarios may include:
Disasters are often catastrophic when businesses aren't adequately prepared. While business continuity ensures continued operations during a disaster, disaster recovery focuses on restoring business operations after a disaster.
Undoubtedly, it is better to plan ahead to prevent disaster than to find remedies to save your business when such a disaster happens. This analysis reveals why companies should prioritize having a business continuity plan than a disaster recovery plan.
The most severe effect of operation disruption is financial loss, and the longer your business operation remains disrupted, the greater your losses. Having a business continuity plan in place can help you minimize the consequences of such disruptions while also breeding a comfortable work environment where employees know there are clear policies to respond to unpredicted disasters.
Nowadays, companies are increasingly developing comprehensive business continuity plans to ensure their businesses are always up-and-running, protect business data, retain customers, reduce operation costs, and ultimately achieve sustainable organizational improvements.
However, developing a holistic business continuity plan has become even more difficult as the integration and distribution of systems across a hybrid IT environment increases. Technically, linking critical systems to manage higher expectations ultimately complicates business continuity planning. Hence, the need for experts in this field continues to grow.
If you want to develop a business continuity plan that helps you stay prepared, assess, prevent, and respond to all possible business disruptions, our flexible and reliable business continuity solutions can help enhance your business resilience.
Designed by experts, our bespoke business continuity service grants you premium access to experienced and professional consultants you can trust to help you develop a robust plan that best suits your specific business needs.
We offer scalable, flexible, and impressive solutions to improve your business security and establish peace of mind.
You can find out how DC Two can help you develop a business continuity plan to ensure stable business operations against the unexpected by getting in touch with us at +61 8 6141 1011 today.
Paradigm Technologies has been working with John and the team at DC Two for the past 2 years. They have been instrumental in allowing us to establish 'cloud' offerings for our clients. We now have a number of customers whose core data and server infrastructure is located on the DC Two platform.
The simple and competitive pricing model they use makes quoting and billing a breeze. Nothing is too much trouble for them and no matter the problem or requirement, DC Two will find a way.
- Nick Dimitrijevich and Andrew Rosen, Directors, Paradigm Technologies