Keep business continuity on the front burner

All companies need business continuity and disaster recovery plans. There are so many ways a business can face potential disruption, from major events like a flood, earthquake or blizzard, down to much smaller disasters like a faulty server, or a companies network going down thanks to a power outage. Once a business has a plan in place, the tendency is to think of the issue as solved, and not go back to reexamine their practices and procedures again.

This is a mistake, as a good business continuity and disaster recovery plan needs to constantly be looked at and tweaked in order to make sure it continues to cover a business in the best way possible.

"A company still needs a robust, intelligent and responsive business continuity and disaster recovery plan."

Constantly update procedures
Companies are always changing – employees come and go, new technology is added and offices move around. Through all of it, a company still needs a robust, intelligent and responsive business continuity and disaster recovery plan. For this reason, Computer Technology Review recommended updating a BC plan on a quarterly basis. Not only does it help to keep the plan strong when it is regularly revisited, but this can also motivate employees. When the plan is reexamined every few months it stays at the top of everyone's mind. Workers will be thinking about continuity more and that attention will mean a plan is easier to implement in the event of a disaster.

Keep everyone involved
Business continuity and disaster recovery plans almost always involve upper management as they will be making the important decisions in a time of crisis. They also often involve employees from IT as the network infrastructure and technological pieces of a business are generally the focus of the plan. However it pays to involve everyone in the company in the planning to avoid tunnel vision. Business continuity should include what to do in the event of a critical, system-wide failure. But a good plan also takes into account what might happen if just a few employees or a single department is hit with a disaster. By speaking with all of its employees, a company can be sure that its continuity plan protects everything it needs to.

Test often
Having a plan in place in the event of a disaster is not good enough – it must be tested rigorously and regularly. Even if months of a company's time is spent readying a BC plan, it is no guarantee that it will work when the rubber meets the road. Though it will be disruptive to day-to-day operations, it is important to run real-life drills for what could happen. These tests serve two purposes, according to the Data Center Journal first, they ensure that technological solutions put into place work as they are supposed to. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, they make sure that the human element of the plan knows what it is supposed to do. A disaster situation will likely be stressful and difficult for employees to cope with. They are far more likely to accomplish the tasks they need to if they have performed them before under less stressful circumstance.