There are two main ways in which companies fail to build the best business continuity blueprint for their needs. Some organizations fall short of their goals by overlooking key components of the operation, leaving gaps in the strategy that result in a collapse come crisis time. Others try to do too much and spread their resources thin across departments, which ends up backfiring when a lack of support prevents proper execution in an interruption scenario. In other words, business continuity is all about balance, and every company must strive to achieve this equilibrium.
Trial-and-error is not a viable option in the world of continuity – businesses need to hit the nail on the head with their strategies to ensure they remain resilient in trying times. Here are five tips that can help decision-makers develop a comprehensive continuity outlook that gets it right the first time:
1. Continuity is a total team effort: “Business continuity (BC) refers to a strategy that lets a business operate with minimal or no downtime or service outage,” explained a recent article from Tech Page One. Decision-makers should internalize the lesson of this definition by recognizing its widespread implications – continuity support should be distributed across the business, including the data center, personnel teams and the physical tools used to get the job done. Delegating responsibilities and action plans is key to ensuring resilience in every corner of the business environment.
2. IT is only a piece of the puzzle: Tech Page One took the liberty of identifying the differences between disaster recovery and business continuity, details which are often forgotten by business leaders. This lack of clarity can end up stifling the success of a strategy, especially as these components become more central to the enterprise. As it turns out, recovery comprises a small but significant portion of the total continuity picture, making it crucial that decision-makers allocate an appropriate level of resources to this area and ensure balanced support.
“Disaster recovery (DR) refers to having the ability to restore the data and applications that run your business should your data center, servers or other infrastructure get damaged or destroyed,” noted the source. “One important DR consideration is how quickly data and applications can be recovered and restored.”
3. Tech priorities are essential: Continuing on the subject of technology and continuity balance, it’s important to remember that some data will have to take a backseat during the restoration process. Even the most capable backup systems will require that decision-makers prioritize certain elements of the infrastructure to bring systems back online as soon possible. Leaders should pinpoint the most critical apps in their network and make sure they are restored in a precise and timely manner.
4. Employees need training: Cohesive continuity means that everyone is on the same page and individuals know exactly what must be done to support the strategy at large. According to a slideshow from Baseline highlighting the importance of integrated response tactics, training employees on the details of the company’s continuity outlook is the best way to ensure the business is prepared to hit the ground running when an interruption takes place. To make sure employee education sticks, active tests should be deployed on a frequent basis.
5. Third-party guidance is gold: Even at the Forbes 500 level, companies need help determining what continuity objectives matter most, what components need to be in place and the best way to test these assets in preparation for an actual crisis. Expert service providers can make all the difference when it comes to strategizing and executing a continuity plan from the data center to the office floor.