At Plan B, we’ve heard many claims about Business Continuity planning, and a few pearlers keep cropping up.
Here are a few of our ‘favourite’ myths – and what you need to know to plan for real Business Continuity.
‘Just put it in the cloud’
Moving data and services into the cloud gives you more flexibility and makes financial sense, but when the cloud goes wrong, it can be catastrophic.
Storing your backup data in the cloud is great; it’s relatively cheap, backup data is offsite (typically in another geographical region), easily accessible, and provides for growth.
However in a disaster some of those same advantages can quickly turn against you.
If you needed to restore a server in a hurry, consider that would take 46 hours to restore a 1TB server from an international cloud provider over a 50Mb/s internet link – if the link still works.
Would that meet your business objectives? When was the last time you tested the recovery of one of your cloud hosted servers?
‘The risk is actually pretty low’
When most people think of a disaster they think of natural disasters; earthquake, tsunami, tornado, but from our experience hardware failures, corruptions, failed upgrades and human error are the top reasons for recovering data.
Don’t underestimate and ignore events that could happen closer to home.
‘I don’t need to be involved’
A great Business Continuity plan is closely aligned with both the strategic and tactical management of the company. It’s not as simple as backup tapes and laptop computers – you need to know how every facet of the business will continue to operate.
CRM? Finance systems? Phones? How will you communicate with staff? How will clients communicate with you? What about contractual or compliance obligations?
‘My IT guys have it all in hand’
IT shouldn’t own the Business Continuity Plan, as it affects the entire business. How sure can you be that your plan meets your business objectives?
It’s also important that senior management is responsible for BC planning, because when things go wrong, senior management will need the answers.
‘I have a copy of my data, that’s enough’
Successfully backing up your data is critical, but only one small part of the bigger picture. In an event, your staff need to keep working with minimal disruption, your milestones need to be met, and your customers should barely notice any problems.
Anything less puts your business at risk. This is why Business Continuity planning is required in some international markets. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing it as a prerequisite on the next RFI/RFP.