5 Challenges every business continuity plan needs to address

5 Challenges every business continuity plan needs to address

If you don’t have a rock-solid business continuity plan in place, there’s a high chance of your organization closing its doors for good after a serious incident. According to a recent study by IBM, over 80% of companies risk extraordinary financial loss because they don’t have a sufficiently robust and up-to-date plan. A lack of expertise and internal understanding of how these things work are among the most common reasons for failing to plan for the worst.

Business continuity planning can be daunting. And, it’s not getting any easier as enterprise computing infrastructures become increasingly complex. However, while the investment might seem substantial at first, it’s imperative that you prepare your business for any eventuality. This in itself will add value to your organization, provided you can overcome the following challenges:

#1. Cyberthreats

Cyberthreats, such as data breaches, data leaks, and ransomware attacks, are some of the biggest threats facing businesses. Hackers and social engineering scammers are out in force to steal sensitive data and sell it on the dark web, while rogue employees can expose companies to even more severe attacks.

That’s why cyberthreats must be squarely at the forefront of a business continuity plan. You need to start with a risk assessment and impact analysis to determine the likelihood and consequences of a threat occurring. Your continuity plan should then outline all the steps necessary for recovering any lost data, followed by a plan to minimize the chances of such threats. This may include advanced threat prevention software, regular security training, and cutting-edge encryption systems.

#2. Management support

It’s a common misconception that business continuity planning is all about technology and, therefore, only something the IT department needs to worry about. It’s much broader than that. In fact, continuity planning is much more about people and processes than technology. It requires buy-in from upper management and any other key stakeholders. Everyone on the team needs to understand the risks so that they can be held accountable to one another if disaster strikes. Should an incident occur, it’s imperative that everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities in remediating the damage.

#3. Unscheduled downtime

Now that businesses have become so reliant on technology, unscheduled downtime is only going to get more expensive. A major part of continuity planning covers how your business will stay up and running during an incident, not just after. For example, a fire, natural disaster or a severe hardware failure might render mission-critical systems inoperable. Your continuity plan should include redundancies and automatic rollovers to ensure that your team can continue working from a secondary location, or even from home, if an incident were to occur. Reducing the risk of unscheduled downtime is perhaps the single biggest challenge to overcome.

#4. System repairs

Every computer system needs regular maintenance, which includes occasional upgrades and repairs. However, if these repairs and upgrades lead to extended periods of downtime, costs will spiral out of control. Your business continuity plan should incorporate a proactive strategy for maximizing system uptime and reducing your dependence on break/fix support. A tried-and-tested solution to this challenge is to move your systems and processes over to the cloud to reduce, if not eliminate, your dependence on in-house IT. When you’re working with a remote service provider, things like repairs and upgrades will become the responsibility of the vendor.

#5. Vendor management

The average business works with dozens of vendors ranging from supply chains to retailers to IT service providers. When there’s a disruption somewhere along the line, it can have an immediate effect on your business too, and today’s customers won’t be interested in hearing any excuses. Your continuity plan must incorporate vendor management to ensure that a disruption to the supply chain doesn’t lead to unscheduled downtime or other operational or financial damage to your business. It should include contacts for secondary suppliers so that you don’t end up putting all your eggs in one basket.

Refresh Technologies helps you put your IT woes to rest with expert advice and dependable solutions that drive business growth without adding risk. Schedule a consultation now to get started.

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