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With the start of a new year, businesses commonly implement changes and launch new initiatives that have ramifications for your IT environment. Ignore them at your own peril.
Chief among your IT considerations should be a Business Continuity Plan, or BCP, which will allow your business to resume normal operations in the event of a significant data loss or network downtime. Unfortunately, recent studies have found that about half of small and midsize businesses have no BCP. That’s a huge risk; more than half of companies that experience catastrophic data losses go out of business within a couple of years.
And while it’s important to have a plan in the first place, it’s equally important that your BCP is flexible and scalable to adapt as your business undergoes changes.
Software installations, modifications, and updates as well as the addition of new hardware are an important part of business continuity planning. You must ensure your backup, storage, and recovery procedures and systems are kept current with these changes. Improper maintenance and outdated procedures can lead to backup errors that result in costly data losses. Unfortunately, some companies discover these errors too late – when they try to recover the data.
In addition to the IT considerations of a BCP, don’t ignore the human element. Someone, typically your IT staff, has to be in charge of overseeing BCP execution. But it doesn’t end there. Other employees have their roles, too, but do they know what those roles are? Have they been brought up to speed on the importance of backup and recovery, and what they need to do should you experience a catastrophic data loss? Has your business produced and printed a manual for employees to use as a reference?
Let us help you assess your business continuity strategy to make sure it takes all relevant aspects into account and is kept current with your evolving needs. Your business may depend on it.
Published on 15th February 2010 by Jeanne DeWitt.