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b2ap3_thumbnail_business_continuity_400.jpgThere are few things more important than the continuity of your business. Your livelihood, and that of your employees, depends on the continued functionality of your organization. Therefore, it becomes necessary to do all that you can to ensure your business is protected from an unexpected downfall, due to data loss, natural disasters, and other means.

Business continuity, despite the fact that it’s hugely important, can often be neglected due to more pressing matters. For example, dealing with small issues that pop up periodically might feel more important than worrying about a huge data loss disaster. In cases like this, it’s always best to be prepared. You should approach business continuity from the viewpoint of Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Your organization should be prepared to handle anything and everything that the universe throws at it.

Natural Disasters
We all know that floods, fires, and electrical storms are often beyond the control of human action. A freak tornado could strike and level your office at any time, or a bad storm could topple power lines and the impending power outage could cause damage to your technology. A natural disaster doesn’t have to destroy your office; all it has to do is cause enough damage to make getting back to normal operations difficult. This is the most common problem stemming from natural disasters.

You can reduce the pain of this by integrating some relatively common technology solutions, like an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). If your IT infrastructure is suddenly cut off from electricity, the UPS will send a signal to the server, telling it to shut down normally once all work and applications are properly finished and closed.

Succession Planning
This is perhaps the most neglected part of planning for business continuity. Many organizations have important staff members that have been around for what seems like forever, but it won’t always be this way. Making sure that critical personnel remain at the company can seem daunting, especially if you’ve never given a thought to what would happen if they left. When we say “leave,” we usually mean one of three things: 1) The employee quits, 2) The employee is severely ill and away from the office for an extended period of time, and 3) The employee dies.

We don’t want to sound morbid, but again, you should always prepare for the case when important people aren’t available anymore. Establishing a policy for succession beforehand can help to ensure that your organization is prepared for anything. Even something as simple as cross training can contribute to this goal.

Data Loss and Disaster Recovery
Data loss is a primary reason a business fails to continue operations, and as such, making sure that it’s mitigated is a primary function of any good business continuity plan. Organizations that fail to restore their data following a data loss disaster are likely to go out of business within a year, so you know that data loss is no joke.

Thankfully, it’s easy to integrate data backup with help from professionals like NTConnections. Our data backup and disaster recovery service is designed to help small and medium-sized businesses avoid data loss and get back in the game as quickly as possible, following a data loss incident. Your data backups will be sent to secure, off-site data centers, where they can be quickly recovered in the event of a disaster. The BDR can temporarily act like a server to help your business continue functioning, even while you’re searching for new technology to replace the downed server.

Some folks might think we’re being paranoid, but honestly, preparing for the worst only means that you can move forward with confidence, knowing that even the worst possible circumstances can’t take your business down. If you’re ready to embrace business continuity, give NTConnections a call at (703) 288-9767.