What Is Business Continuity?

Why Every Company Should Have a Business Continuity Plan in Place

Whether you’re a CEO, decision maker, or IT professional, business continuity is relevant to you.

But what is business continuity? 

Business continuity is about having a plan in place to deal with challenging situations so your organization can function with as little disruption as possible. In other words: if you have a hardware failure or a virus attack, it would be your “how-to” plan to get back up and running swiftly.

Business continuity applies to all operations within a company, because when it’s interrupted, everyone in the company will be affected. But here’s the thing: it’s sometimes difficult to see how business continuity and backup plans are “worth it” to your team if nothing has happened yet. 

The reality is the cost of a few hours of downtime can be devastating to a business. Follow these 3 steps to begin a plan for your own business continuity: 

1. Understand What Disrupts Businesses in the First Place 

In this digitally-driven age, there are myriad reasons your business could go down. These might include: 

  • Natural disasters (a flood, fire, or ice storm can take down physical operations) 
  • Hardware failure (which can disrupt the online and phone aspects of your business)  
  • Cyber incidents (a malware attack, a data breach, or human error) 
  • Sudden changes to the market (internal shifts in the company, disruptions to the supply chain)

Fortunately, many things are preventable, but it’s crucial to consider the vulnerabilities most salient to your business. As you dig into where your company might have weaknesses, you can start to plan for worst-case scenarios and build a strong defensive plan

2. Evaluate the Cost of Your Business Being Down 

When operations are down, customers can’t make purchases, run print jobs, book appointments, meet production numbers, or access their accounts. The lost revenue adds up quickly. In fact, a Statista survey from 2020 revealed that the average cost of business operations being down for a single hour was between $300,000 and $400,000 dollars. 

Take a moment to think about it: how much revenue would you lose if your business were down for an hour?

Even if just one aspect of your business is affected (say, your sales platform is down), revenue can plummet, but it can have chain-reaction effects down the task line, too. Think about the potential number of employees affected by the issue, loss of productivity, your day-to-day overhead costs, and add it all up for every hour of downtime.

It’s important to know about the financial ramifications of business downtime so you can be more informed when building your own IT and disaster recovery budget. It’s also helpful when explaining to your team the incredible importance of developing a business continuity plan.  

3. Plan for Recovery

You’re likely also wondering about recovery plans. When the worst happens, how can your business bounce back?

Reactive Options 

Reactive measures are what you’re looking for if you’re in a situation where it’s “too late.“ Maybe someone deleted files by mistake, or maybe a mouse chewed through a wire and caused a power outage. Practically speaking, reactive measures include accessing a backup file, calling repair services, and communicating about delays to your clients. 

Reactive measures enable your organization to return to an acceptable level of operations, but the reality is there will be delays, downtime, and disruption.

We’ll get you back to business as usual, but wouldn’t it be better if you could avoid reactive measures—and any downtime—altogether?

Proactive Options  

The top way you can ensure business continuity is to plan ahead. When it comes to developing a plan for business continuity, there are a lot of things to consider. Stratti can help you identify all the possibilities for problems that could arise and the solutions you’d need to solve them. From there, we’ll work together to develop a prioritized list of actions your company can take to stay prepared. A business continuity plan for your enterprise might include maintenance schedules, cloud backup, and managed services so you can focus on building your business in real-time. 

By following these three steps, you’ll have a better idea of how your business might be affected by downtime,  what you need to do to get back on your feet quickly, and most importantly—how to plan ahead.