They say that when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Most business owners know that a business plan is an indispensable component of a successful company. But there is another crucial plan that many business owners forget to create: a business continuity plan.
What Is a Business Continuity Plan?
A business continuity plan is like a company’s Swiss Army knife. The plan should outline business procedures for responding to an emergency situation. These processes include (but are not limited to) backing up data, operating remotely, notifying customers of an emergency shutdown, informing employees of modified working hours, and restoring business operations after a disaster.
Off-Site Data Backup is Critical
Backed-up, off-site data is retrievable on demand. If a company’s data backup exists only on site, then it could be damaged by a flood, fire, theft, or another disaster. Even if it is undamaged, it may still be inaccessible if the premises are unsafe after the disaster. By contrast, if the data exists outside of the environment of crisis (i.e., in an off-site location through cloud services, thumb drives, CDs, external hard drives, etc.), then the business owner and employees may access it and immediately begin the business recovery process.
Off-site data backup is accessible during a disaster, which allows the company to continue operations. While some companies (especially retail establishments) must operate on the physical premises, others can be operated remotely. When data is backed up off-site, then the business can access the data during the disaster and continue to operate “business as usual,” preventing any interruption. This plan means less inconvenience for clients as well as a continued income stream – even during a disaster.
Expect the Unexpected
No matter how unlikely a business owner feels the possibility of disaster is, they should have an emergency contingency plan in place that includes instructions for off-site data backup. Backup should be conducted at regular intervals and stored with a trusted cloud service provider or appropriate facility.
CRI Can Help You Develop Your Business Continuity Plan
CRI’s IT consulting professionals can analyze and recommend policies and procedures for reducing IT risks – including tools such as disaster recovery plans and business continuity plans.