What is the one piece of equipment your business requires to get its work done? If you answered, “computers” you’re right. We talk with our clients about how to create a strong biz continuity plan: 3 steps and why they need one.
In the past, computers didn’t play a large or such a crucial role in getting work done, but today everything from supply chain management to internal and external communications and running manufacturing lines – and more – rely on computers. A continuity plan could be a virtual business lifesaver.
If you experience downtime with your computers, whether from any of the following, how will you recover?
- Power outage
- Natural disaster
- Bombing – as evidenced in the Christmas Day 2020 Nashville, TN bombing
If you answered, “We have a business continuity plan (BCP)” Congratulations! Not all of the clients we work with have that. If you answered, “We’re not sure?” You need to give us a call today to address that issue. We don’t really want to cause you to lose too much sleep, but we recently read a report that a business has the potential to lose up to $5,000 a minute – yes, a MINUTE – if their computer system goes down.
That is a sobering figure. You’d need to do the math in your own business to determine what your minute-to-minute losses could be. Keep in mind that while the $5,000 a minute figure is likely for a Fortune 500 company, even if your business lost $500 a minute – how long could you go without getting back online? A business continuity plan could save you thousands of dollars.
How To Create A Strong Biz Continuity Plan: 3 Steps
When your computer system goes down, how much work would, or could, get done? Likely not much or nothing at all. What happens with your employees? Do you still pay them when you’re not bringing in money and they can’t work? You will need to – it’s not their fault that your business didn’t have a BCP, right?
You NEED to have a plan in place to keep your business operational and viable if there is a computer outage – no matter the reason.
If you operate in the financial or health care industries, you are likely regulated and required to install system resilience measures. Financial industry, for example, explicitly states, “enterprise must create a comprehensive recovery plan.” The HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) requires, “healthcare providers have a contingency plan in place to protect and restore patient data.”
Even with these stipulations, we find that many business owners have not prepared a BCP. Consider that more than 90% of businesses in flood plains don’t have a plan to recover from, and mitigate damage caused, by a flood. If there is a business continuity plan in place, the business will have a proactive plan in place to respond to a disaster like a flood. It is better to operate from a place of proactivity than reactivity. Without a BCP, downtime will likely be unavoidable as you scramble to recover.
What should you consider with your BCP?
- Where will you set up your temporary office, if necessary
- Where will you source new computers for the displaced staff? If there is a flood, chances are your desktops are underwater
- Will you need to buy and store (off site) additional computers? That could be costly and if the computers aren’t used or needed for a decade, they will likely be unusable or unable to handle your company’s tasks. That is a large upfront capital expense you may not have the budget for.
As 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic showed, not many businesses were prepared for the exodus of staff from the office to remote working situations. Were you caught in that situation? Was your IT staff prepared for the removal of computers and equipment from the office? Is it trackable? Does the remote worker know how to safely and securely access the network? Is there a VPN set up? Is the remote employee using a non-hackable password? Let’s not forget the ongoing fiasco of the SolarWinds hack and its password of “solarwinds123” but then do you know what the strength of employee passwords truly is?
When your company reviews its BCP, ensure that it takes into consideration all the tech requirements. Take a page from the businesses that were impacted by the coronavirus shutdown of 2020 and see where they experienced “failures” and ensure your business has a plan in place to negate those system fails.
We don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but the fact is at some point your systems will go down. Whether it’s from natural or manmade disaster or a hack or ransomware attack, you need to have a BCP that would proactively address that situation and get your business up and running. You certainly can’t afford to lose money by the minute can you?
WareGeeks Solutions is a Roselle, New Jersey-based complete IT consultant and solutions provider. We specialize in 360 Protect Data Now managed services, Data Protection, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (#BCDR). We work with law firms, real estate and property management professionals and in the healthcare industry. If you have IT or security questions contact Seth at WareGeeks Solutions. For information or a consultation, call (877) 653-7146, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. www.waregeeks.com