Almost everyone has a data recovery plan, but what about Business Continuity?

4 years ago | by Chris O'Brien

Over 93% of businesses who experienced a disaster that resulted in downtime for 10 days or more, had to file for bankruptcy.

(Source). This is an alarming statistic – to know that although you may have backups and a disaster recovery plan in place – if the remediation process takes 10 days or more, your business is at the risk of suffering dearly and potentially not being able to recover at all.

By now you might be thinking that you have solid security solutions in place, and a great backup and recovery plan, so there’s no way you couldn’t possibly be affected by this statistic… But the truth is that if you aren’t incorporating business continuity within your disaster recovery plan, you’re at severe risk of the affects of downtime; whether it be downtime experienced from a cyber-attack, natural disaster or human error.

What is business continuity?

Business continuity, as it’s name suggests, is a way to quickly continue business in the event that you’re forced into downtime. It is strategically implemented and used as a way to get back up and running faster than traditional disaster remediation, by bringing you over to a virtual system, while traditional remediation takes place in the background on the production system.

This is particularly advantageous for smaller businesses who simply can’t afford the costs associated with downtime, however also for those in larger organisations (which we’ll get into below). Think about all the full time staff that still need to be paid, customers you can’t serve, invoices you can’t get out, orders you can’t process, the list goes on. Did you know that aside from the statistic we opened with, 60% of small businesses hit with a disaster can’t recover due to the effects of downtime and the monetary loss that comes with it?

Having a solution such as business continuity gives businesses the type of fail safe that helps them save time, money and headaches associated with not being able to run business as normal. It’s something we’re passionate about as we’ve seen first hand how businesses suffer during downtime, even though all the work in the world is going into getting them back up and running. While it’s evident that everyone is vulnerable to the effects of downtime, let’s take a closer look at why business continuity is beneficial for specific industries.

Healthcare Practices:

  • This is a no brainer – particularly in mission-critical environments like emergency rooms, however for the non-hospital healthcare industry, the understanding of the need for business continuity isn’t as prominent, when it should be.
  • We often pose the question to practice owners and managers: “Ask yourself, ‘what will my cost be if I don’t have a server to run my practice management system?’ …If the ability to use your technology as normal to access and record patient records was taken away, would you be immediately concerned?”.
  • With most healthcare practices having gone paperless, the reliance on having machines running optimally is critical to keeping their business operations functioning as normal.
  • Where backups are certainly ‘sufficient’ protection, business continuity is a powerful tool in creating peace-of-mind that your staff will always be working efficiently, and your patients will always be tended to.
  • Read more about backups, legislative compliance and business continuity for healthcare practices here.

Accounting Firms:

  • Today’s accounting firms are data-driven and a disruption to a computer system or online service can put a stop to the business the same way a broken down truck holds up a transport company.
  • Dealing with clients financial data means that you need to plan for a disaster – not just in terms of backups and a recovery plan that ensures your data is always recoverable – but also a continuity plan, to ensure that you never have to go long periods without having that data at your fingertips.
  • For most accounting firms, business continuity starts with thinking about the most critical parts of your business, this is usually the client-server environment. Would your business be able to cope without this if downtime were to occur?
  • You can read more about backups, legislative compliance and business continuity in accounting firms here.

Insurance Companies:

  • Disruption to insurance companies can be very costly, not only in terms of the consequent financial implications, but also in repetitional harm within your client base.
  • Whilst none of us like to contemplate the worst happening, it’s important to plan for what you would do if your business was to suffer a major problem such as a fire, flood, storm damage or another similarly catastrophic event.
  • For insurance companies, it’s important to consider implementing business continuity solutions to replicate all of your systems elsewhere, so that you can be up and running again within a short time-frame if your main site were to go down.
  • Read more about backups, legislative compliance and business continuity in insurance companies here.

Business continuity is all about planning for the unexpected. What would happen if your business were to go down – what are the areas you wouldn’t be able to live without? It’s important that every business assesses their vulnerabilities, and takes action with any major risk that could impact the business operations dramatically if a disaster were to strike.

There are many different solutions to suit the size and industry of businesses, after all – there is simply no size fits all when it comes to technology solutions. That’s why it’s important for you to consider the areas of your business you and your team rely on to keep things ticking over.

If you’re interested in learning about how business continuity can assist your business in the event of downtime, reach out to our team through the form below.

Backups are an essential part of any business.

But have you thought about going a step further in implementing business continuity?

How would your business fair if you were to experience extended downtime?