09 maart 2015

How can you guarantee the continuity of your company in the event of a calamity?

written by Pieter de Haer

What if disaster struck today and your company suffered a fire? After evacuating everyone to safety, you are faced with the major task of starting up your business again. No less than 80% of businesses affected by a fire go bankrupt within a year. How can you prevent this from happening?

The answer may seem simple – by preparing yourself with a Business Continuity Plan. However, this is easier said than done. A good plan contains a detailed description of the steps to be taken. Yet, many companies are apprehensive about the thought of preparing one and so do nothing at all. After all, how great is the risk of fire breaking out?

Significant risk of calamity in IT environment

However, there are other disasters that could potentially paralyse your company. Problems could occur with your IT environment as a result of a power failure or hacking. The risk of this happening is relatively large and the impact can be sizeable. Just think of recent incidents affecting ProRail, the Dutch government and the taxi firm Brookhuis. My colleague Adrian Ariese has already written an article about the costs of IT services being unavailable.

A good plan is worth its weight in gold

A good plan can limit the amount of damage caused. One element of the plan, for example, could be to quickly restore communication to customers. This requires access to customer data as a minimum as well as several workplaces for employees. By setting up a good back up facility in an external data centre, and providing a fallback environment and several workplaces at an external location, this can be achieved at relatively low cost. I wrote about this earlier in an article on affordable business continuity. However, this is just one small part of the business continuity plan which contains much more.

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