If you’re a small business owner, you understand your business better than anyone else. While you’ve worked hard to get where you’re at, you always have to work hard to protect what you’ve earned. You know what you need to do to be successful, and a business continuity plan is about protecting the tools you depend on for that success, including critical operations like your network, cloud platform, and IT infrastructure.
In a previous post, we discuss the critical differences between backup disaster recovery (BDR) and business continuity planning (BCP). In short, BDR focuses on restoring mission-critical network operations as rapidly as possible following a disaster while BCP centers around restoring standard network functionality as efficiently as possible. Both are critical for protecting your business by minimizing the lost revenue and customer dissatisfaction associated with downtime.
In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at some key business continuity strategies that your business should explore if you want to stay protected from the threats of tomorrow.
Formulating a Strategy
It always helps to begin by outlining what your business needs out of a business continuity platform. Clarifying these simple questions can help you kick off your project with deeper insight into your needs.
What network tools does your business use on an hourly basis? A daily basis? A weekly basis? Monthly basis? Pinpointing which systems your team depends on the most is the first step to understanding which systems your BCP needs to prioritize.
With a more in-depth understanding of your current infrastructure, you need to clarify which threats could potentially harm your business. On top of considering potential risks, you should also rank which are most likely to happen along with how much they would impact day-to-day operations.
If you had unlimited amounts of money, you could throw money at your business continuity solutions and stay protected from almost any threat out there (black holes, solar storms, and the reversal of the poles being the most obvious exceptions). Unfortunately, you probably don’t have that luxury. That’s why performing a cost-benefit analysis is crucial to understanding how to best utilize your money. Once you’ve calculated the ideal balance between budget and benefits, you’re ready to start researching specific business continuity platforms you can deploy
As always, if you want to gain more concrete answers to these questions, you may want to consider hiring an IT continuity consultant to perform an audit of your existing network.
Business Continuity Platforms
Some of the most common business continuity options for small business include:
Built-In Continuity Tools
Chances are some of the software your team already uses have built-in continuity options. Programs like Microsoft Office, web-based platforms like Google Docs, and Dropbox all offer free, simple cloud-based continuity platforms that ensure your team has access to documents anywhere, anytime. You can always explore ways to unify these platforms for more comprehensive continuity.
Hosted Continuity Platforms
With Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings, your applications are hosted on servers at an off-site data center. You don’t have to worry about installing, upgrading, repairing, or managing any server infrastructure; that’s all handled by your provider. You can stay protected from natural disasters, cyber attacks, and theft with minimal hassle. The biggest downside is that you have little control over how network resources are managed or allocated.
If you want more control over how your backup server resources are allocated and managed, you can always consider deploying your own in-house continuity platform. The downside: you may have to hire additional staff to maintain and support your infrastructure.
If you want to balance your continuity system instead of depending entirely on one platform, a hybrid system is always an option. Best when handled by a managed service provider (MSP), you can prioritize disaster preparedness by leveraging multiple continuity systems and integrating them as one.
Springfield, MO IT Support
If your small business wants to elevate your network preparedness to the next level, contact the experts at PCNet today. We’ll explore your business continuity options to develop a solution that’s customized for your needs.