Why Your Business Continuity Plan Should Include Expert Consultation

How a professional IT advisor will streamline your journey from disaster to recovery

As mentioned, businesses of all kinds have embraced countless IT solutions to help streamline processes and enhance operations. Technology has allowed professionals in all industries to take strides towards more profitable and successful business opportunities.

In turn, many professional organizations also realize the critical importance of protecting the data that they store and share so seamlessly across company networks. Many professionals have taken concrete steps to make sure they have some kind of IT security and disaster prevention mechanisms in place.

However, what many professionals lack – even with headlines full of IT disasters – is a proactive and detailed disaster recovery and business continuity plan. Without a proactive and thorough plan, disaster can and will take your organization off guard. You may have trouble accessing or restoring business data and may lose crucial working hours as you fumble to react. In worst case scenarios, data could be lost forever and your business may need to start from scratch.

That’s why we know it’s the perfect time to review some key questions that you should be asking yourself when building a disaster recovery and business continuity plan.  Above all, we’re hoping to emphasize the importance of consulting with an IT advisor who can offer a bird’s eye view of your network.

Here are some questions to consider when developing a business continuity strategy:

Are you and your team aware of what’s at stake?

When it comes to data protection and disaster prevention, there’s quite a lot at stake. We’re not just talking about the potential annoyance of having to restore a machine or a few minutes of lost work. If a serious attack occurs on your network and your data is held hostage, can you honestly say you have the resources and planning to rebound quickly? If not, you could be losing business or even out of business fast.

This has serious impacts – not only on your bottom line but on your organization’s reputation. Your entire team should be aware that data protection and proactive continuity planning are absolutely critical priorities that everyone must take seriously. By emphasizing the importance of the issue to your team, you’ll help get everyone on the same page.

This is very important considering your own team is your greatest line of defense against cyber invasion and attack. With the help of an IT advisor, you could even offer security awareness training to your staff, including comprehensive information on potential threats and simulation attacks to increase readiness. Training your team to be vigilant can make a huge difference when developing strong business continuity protocols.

Do you have an on-paper plan for what to do in the case of disaster?

Now, as important as talking to your team is – this next question is even more important. You can talk and warn all you want, but unless you have solid disaster recovery and business continuity policies on paper, your effort will be for nothing. Your organization needs a comprehensive and centralized document that can be easily referenced, reviewed and modified as needed.

These policy documents shouldn’t be vague either. You should include specific plans for how to identify threats, what to do in the case of disaster, a chain of command for reporting and response, backup procedures and more. While this task can seem daunting, it’s essential to have a detailed and proactive plan before disaster strikes.

By taking the initiative ahead of time, your team won’t be left scrambling and wondering what to do next. Of course, trying to create a full-coverage plan can be overwhelming – especially when you’re trying to ensure you’re prepared at all endpoints. That’s why consulting with an IT advisor can make a huge difference in creating an all-encompassing and proactive business continuity plan. A professional partner can look at your network from above and determine all the areas that need attention – making it easy for you to develop a comprehensive plan.

Do you have backup solutions in place?

In addition to planning and communication, your organization must have a reliable backup solution in place. Whether you choose hardware or software, every modern business must have at least one backup solution in place, where data is securely replicated in case of emergency.

In fact, it’s probably a good idea to have more than one backup solution in place in the case the first one fails. Your backup solutions should also be accompanied by clearly defined policies for how often data should be backed-up. Ideally, you’d back up every time new data is entered into the network. However, this may be unrealistic, so developing a clearly defined schedule is very important.

If you’re wondering about the best backup solutions to implement or if you’re wondering whether or not your solutions are adequate, a professional IT advisor can provide key insights. Professionals have the experience to help you make sound decisions when it comes to backup solutions and will offer the peace-of-mind that only an industry expert can offer.

About the back-ups. Have you tested them?

Okay, when discussing backup technology, there really is only question that matters: have you tested your backup solutions? Seriously – we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you have backup solutions in place and they haven’t been tested, they’re pretty much worthless

If you’ve never tested your backup solutions, how can you be sure they’re going to be functional in the case of disaster. In fact, your backup solutions should be tested regularly to ensure they’re working as you’ve designed them to. Without a consistent and regular schedule for testing back-ups, you’ll never rest assured that your back-ups are locked and loaded.

Consulting a managed IT provider about the best ways to regularly test back-ups

can be a huge help. An industry expert can help you develop a suitable schedule and can introduce you to automatic solutions that will help make your backup testing a breeze.

Can you be sure your network is as secure as possible?  

Above all, the most consistent way to make sure your network is protected from disaster is to have a consistent eye on it. Making sure that your IT security network is consistently monitored and maintained is one of the best ways to remain dedicated to business continuity.

However, you’re busy enough in today’s fast-paced business landscape. Keeping a consistent eye on your network can be a huge strain on your internal team and resources. That’s why partnering with a managed IT provider for comprehensive and round the clock network monitoring is a no-brainer for busy organizations like yours.

An industry expert will be able to consistently monitor your network and identify threats and vulnerabilities before they negatively impact your network. The proactive approach to network security is the only way to remain one step ahead of potential disasters and patch your network along the way.

Don’t Go on Faith Alone: Professional Consultation Could Be a Lifeline for Business Continuity

At the end of the day, you don’t want to rely on faith alone when it comes to protecting your business network and preventing disaster. Proactive planning, education, and communication are necessary in order to ensure your team is not only ready for a potential disaster but also prepared to respond appropriately.

The business landscape is plagued by more cyber threats and uncertainty than ever before. Your organization can’t afford to cross your fingers and hope for the best. If a disaster hits, it can have a massively negative impact on your company. In fact, failing to prepare appropriately could leave your business in the dust.

That’s why reaching out to an IT expert for a consultation, guidance and assistance can make all the difference in protecting and preparing your organization. The insights and strategies offered by an IT advisor will offer you the peace of mind required so that you can stay focused on mission-critical business tasks without worrying about constant threats to your network. Knowing you have the support to bounce back in the face of disaster is truly priceless.

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