Business Continuity

Business Continuity – Nobody likes talking about it

It never ceases to amaze me. There’re the great big organizations who have million-dollar lobbies and healthy quarterly dividends. The CEO has a jet or six and from the outside looking in, things look like all their ducks are in a row. A facade is misleading. My last date was a facade, but that’s another subject all together. In other words, things are not always what they seem.

 

 

A Lack Of Business Continuity

 

 

Organizations spend millions and millions on their research & development (as they should), employee retention and many other pertinent tangibles and intangibles. However, I have noticed a significant gap in the investment in their business continuity. They may not even practice business continuity. They pay little or no attention to that gorilla in the room. Also known as a Disaster (Natural or Manual).

 

 

Now some of this is due to negligence and some of this is due to that 20-something mentality that one is bullet-proof. The big ‘D’ here is Denial; the fact that it can never happen to us. We’re too big and somebody will know what to do.

 

 

Well, that’s not always the case. If a catastrophe does happen (God forbid), an organization needs to have a contingency plan in place. They should also be able to quasi-predict the catastrophe before it actually happens.

 

 

The Cost of Downtime

 

Downtime in an IT infrastructure can cost an organization millions of dollars per every minute the infrastructure is down. That’s why maintenance windows are done at 1 AM and not during peak times. Could you imagine if Amazon went down on Cyber Monday? Yes, it’s an extreme example, but imagine if your organization went down.

 

 

Then ask yourself the following questions:

 

 

  • What would happen?
  • Would our clients be adversely affected?
  • How much money would you lose?
  • How much data would you lose?
  • How valuable is that data to your organization?
  • How are we going to get it back?
  • Who do we call?

 

 

 

 

The list of questions is infinite. Your organization may not ever be able to be fully down. Imagine if a city’s fire department IT infrastructure went down? It could project total chaos.

 

 

Now that I have made my point on the seriousness of an IT infrastructure going down, it’s time to make my other point. That is business continuity.

 

 

Business Continuity- What is it?

 

 

Wikipedia defines Business Continuity as:

 

“ The process of creating systems of prevention and recovery to deal with potential threats to a company. In addition to prevention, the goal is to permit ongoing operation, before and during execution of disaster recovery.”

 

 

The keywords in that definition is “ongoing operation.” Floods, earthquakes, cyber-attacks, human error can all affect the ‘ongoing operation’ of an organization. Having backups (quite possibly more than one) in place to keep the lights on is vital. This is a worthy investment and by investing in a Disaster Recovery plan may make you cringe, imagine the investment you would have to make if you didn’t.

 

 

When did Noah build the ark?

 

 

Before the storm….Before the storm….

 

 

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