Resource type: Blog
Why business continuity is good for your business
Flood. Fire. Data theft. Or even just the internet going down. What happens if an incident out of your control means you struggle to do business?
How would your staff, suppliers and customers be affected? Would it impact sales, and therefore profit?
The activity of preparing for when things might go wrong is called business continuity planning. And according to the Business Continuity Institute, the most commonly identified risks include:
- Cyber attack
- Data breach
- Unplanned IT and telecom outage
- Security incident
- Adverse weather
- Act of terrorism
- Supply chain disruption
- Availability of talents/key skills
- New laws or regulations
- Interruption of utility supply
- Data breach
Whilst cyber-attacks have hit the headlines in recent months, in reality the most common disruption incidents include adverse weather, interrupted power supply and IT or telecom systems going down.
A robust, regularly tested Business Continuity Plan will ensure resilience and effective response mechanisms when things go wrong – to protect your customers, staff, products, reputation and brand.
So how can technology support Business Continuity Planning?
Basic backup and connectivity. A basic solution – and the more traditional format – is to back up data onto a secure driver and store off-site. That could be as simple as an encrypted USB drive. If your internet goes down, a basic 4G dongle could in the short-term get you back on line to deal with the issue.
Collaboration platforms: From free solutions such as DropBox to subscription-based services such as Office365, more organisations are taking their servers online. This means you and your staff can access files and data anywhere, anytime.
Take your accounting onto the cloud: Ability to invoice customers, run payroll, manage cashflow and file accounts can all take place via online accounting software. Some platforms are even free for basic functions, and come with apps that can enable you to manage your finances from a phone or tablet.
Dual connectivity: If your business is heavily reliant on internet connectivity day-to-day, consider back up options. For example, a leased line with dedicated connection between your business and the local exchange, backed up by fibre broadband to ensure you stay online.
Avoid Downtime: Preserve the uptime of your platforms if you are heavily reliant on your website or services being always on. For example, offsite ‘spin up’ services work to replicate your systems within the Cloud. Data can be encrypted and only made available to authorised users via the web.
For more information on how to create a Business Continuity Plan, see our comprehensive Guide.