The Ins and Outs of IT Business Continuity Planning

Business continuity planning ensures that your business can continue to operate, even if disaster strikes. Proper business continuity planning (BCP) involves far more than having backups of important files. Further, business continuity planning requires a particular expertise that is often lacking even among the most talented IT departments. 

Avoid IT disasters that disrupt your business by creating a business continuity plan using the following insights. 

  1. Build your IT systems with high availability. Solid business continuity planning includes creating IT systems with high availability so that the risk of downtime is drastically reduced before there is a problem. High availability systems are continuously operational with the goal that they never fail or experience unplanned downtime. It is important to build resiliency and redundancy into your critical IT systems, as well as proactively manage your high availability systems to keep your business running smoothly.


  2. Back up your data in multiple places. With your business data being critical to maintaining day-to-day operations, it is necessary to have more than one copy on hand. Developing an on-site solution to help store a copy of your data, as well as utilizing cloud services that backup systems and data to off-site servers. In either approach, it is imperative to monitor and maintain your systems to ensure everything continues to properly back up.


  3. Be thoroughly prepared with a disaster recovery plan. Business continuity planning and high availability systems will significantly reduce the likelihood that an IT disaster occurs. However, with almost all major IT incidents being caused by human error or hardware failure, it is virtually impossible to avoid all disaster during the lifetime of your business. 

    But if a major incident does occur, a disaster recovery plan can help have you back up and running in no time. Working proactively internally or with a third-party managed services provider, determine critical objectives for your disaster recovery plan based on your business needs and budget. This includes defining the threshold for items like your recovery point objection (RPO), which is the maximum amount of time that any data may be lost following a disaster (e.g., if your files are backed up every 24 hours, the maximum amount of data that can be lost is that produced within the past 24 hours), and recovery time objective (RTO), the service level to which an IT system must be restored following a disaster. The established RTO targets may be different for mission-critical systems than those that are less essential to day-to-day operations.

  4. Test your disaster recovery plan. To add an extra layer of protection, be sure to test your disaster recovery plan before it is ever needed. This includes testing your high availability infrastructure and identifying any weak points that may need to be addressed. By getting ahead of any potential issues, you can avoid having to enact your disaster recovery plan in real time or at least be more prepared when you do. 

BDK, Inc. has specialists who excel at helping our clients with business continuity planning, and manage business continuity, high availability systems, disaster recovery plans, and offsite backup. To learn more about how BDK can support your business’ BCP needs, contact us today.