What’s Your Business Continuity Plan?

No matter what your stance on climate change is, it can’t be denied that, regardless of the reason, we’ve been seeing some pretty violent weather incidents across the country these past few years. Unfortunately, things like hurricanes, flooding, and super-storms can wreak havoc on a business and halt its operations.

No one likes to think about such things, but to ignore them is to dice with fate. That’s why, whether you call it a disaster recovery plan or a business continuity plan, you need to have policies in place that ensure your business will keep going, regardless of what catastrophe hits, be it natural or man-made.

Backup! Backup! Backup!
There’s a reason the word “backup” is said three times. When it comes to your business’ crucial data, it needs to be backed up three times, using at least two different media, and one copy being stored offsite. This principle is called The Rule Of Three, or sometimes, the 3-2-1 Rule.

So, for instance, you could have one copy on a flash drive or second hard drive, stored in a different location than the original machine. Another copy may be on disc or even hard copy, and stored offsite. The final copy, ideally, would be kept safe utilizing cloud storage. Do bear in mind that if you opt for cloud storage, you had better have Internet access. Otherwise, that copy will be unavailable to you.

Don’t Just Protect The Data
The article “What Manufacturing Companies Need To Know About System Backups” tells us that not only should data be backed up, but also software, applications, and any other digital solutions such as CRM or marketing software.

After all, although data is crucial, so are the utilities and applications that you use in the everyday operation of your company. Failing to do so would be like having backup copies of all of your iPod music files, but somehow not having a copy of iTunes to play those carefully saved files!

Pick A Good Team
Take a look at any movie out there that deals with a disaster or conflict. There’s always some stalwart, skilled team of experts ready to tackle the crisis and save the day. That’s what your business needs; its own team of heroes to help save the company’s bacon in times of crisis.

What that entails is selecting a team of experienced, reliable people to handle the disaster and the recovery. Each person needs to have a particular role, well defined and communicated to the person in question. You also need access to them, so that means a central list of all members and their contact information, be it via social media, email, or good old fashioned phone calls!

Line Up A Backup Location
You can have all of your data and utilities backed up, and a great team where each member knows their job, but if you haven’t arranged for a backup location, then you’re going to have problems with recovery. You need a secondary site where you have power, Internet and phone access, and any equipment necessary for the continued operation of your company.

This is important not only for your team to work on recovery but also for your customers to be able to reach you and find out what’s what. After all, you don’t want people thinking that the calamity in question has forced you to shut your doors forever, do you?

Keep the above items in mind when putting together your business continuity plan, and you’ll have fewer headaches if it ever needs to be implemented. Should you need some ideas for data backup, check out “The Best Backup Software For Your Computer.”