Your business faces risks that could affect your profitability and damage your reputation. Some risks can even put the survival of your business in jeopardy. This was discussed in last week’s blog. The solution, however, is to put in place a business disaster plan. Below are some tips to help you do this.
Creating a business disaster plan will highlight areas where you are vulnerable. You can then improve those areas, improving your business overall. For example, you might find your IT security should be improved.
In addition, a business disaster plan will ensure that, in the event of a disaster, the mission critical aspects of your business run as smoothly as possible. Also, the plan will help you get back to normal operations again quickly.
Creating a Business Disaster Plan – Top Tips
- Identify mission critical functions and processes – your business will have mission critical functions and processes. These are the absolute basics needed to continue delivering a service to your customers. You must identify and prioritise them.
- Identify the risks your business faces – be creative when considering risks. The risk of flooding is a good example. Could you be at risk even though a flood has never happened to you before? What about other forms of water damage? Cyberattacks are another example as some businesses think they are too small to be at risk. The reality, however, is all businesses are at risk of a cyberattack – you need to think about the impact that such an attack would have on your business.
- Ask your team – make sure you include your team in the process. This is because you will usually not fully understand the minutia of each person’s job role. Something you thought of as being mission critical, for example, might not be.
- Test the plan – you should test as many elements of the plan as possible. This could include using outside experts or running simulations. It can be much simpler, as well. For example, you could try working from home to see if it is possible to run your business effectively without being able to access your office.
Steps You Should Take
There are also steps you should take now to make recovering from a business disaster easier:
- Move to the cloud – in many businesses, having access to data, such as customer data, is crucial. By using a full or partial cloud solution, you can reduce the risk of not being able to access your data.
- Review your data backup procedures – if you don’t have data backup procedures in place, you should implement them urgently. Even if you do have backups, you should test them to make sure everything works as it should.
- Think about non-IT backups – this could be, for example, having a generator so you can keep the lights on if there is a power cut. Another example is a relocation plan if you can’t get access to your building for an extended period of time.
- Improve your IT and data security – this normally involves multiple elements including improving your procedures, updating your systems, and ensuring there is ongoing training for staff on IT security issues.
Spending time planning for a disaster now will make one easier and less damaging to deal with if it ever happens.
For more help or advice with your business, please contact a member of the Gilroy Gannon technology team today.