It's the 21st century, and businesses are relying more and more on their digital systems for their day-to-day operations.
This is a trend that has been growing ever since the mass adoption of the internet in the 90's, and shows no signs of slowing down.
But while the internet and digital architecture have made life easier in many ways, they're also vulnerable to issues.
Here's the problem – what happens to your business if your IT systems go down?
Do you have a plan in place to ensure you can continue to serve your customers during this period?
And, just as importantly, what are you going to do to recover from this and get your business back to normal?
This is what business continuity and disaster recovery, often abbreviated as BC/DR, is about.
In the world of BC/DR, as with life in general, there are two primary categories of disasters.
The first is the type nature likes to deliver to us.
Some of the most common natural disasters for which organizations need to be prepared include:
- Volcanic eruptions
- Ice storms
The second is disasters that are caused by humans, either deliberately or accidentally.
- Hazardous material spills
- Nuclear reactor meltdowns
- Acts of terrorism
- Critical IT systems failures
- Virus or malware attack
- Infrastructure failure
- Acts of war
- Oil spills
- Industrial accidents
- Workplace fires
- Power grid failure
- Floods caused by infrastructure failure (eg. dams bursting)
- Employee theft or sabotage
Naturally, most places won't need to worry about every single one of the above listed disasters.
Fortunately, most of us live nowhere near a fault line or an active volcano. But everyone will need to worry about at least a few of them.
If one of these events happens near your corner of the world, you'll have a lot to worry about – keeping yourself and your loved ones safe, for example.
As frightening as these times can be, your business may be the last thing on your mind.
Which is why it's so important to make sure you have a plan in place before these disasters occur.
What Is Business Continuity (BC)?When disasters strike, certain types of business cannot continue operating, and other types of businesses will see their operations disrupted somewhat.
This is especially true for any business that has a storefront or physical location – during a disaster, you'll likely need to close your doors at least for a little while.
But there's no reason why other aspects of your business need to shut down as well.
Your email servers, client data, and the information for current projects you've been working on should all remain safe.
And any services your clients need to be able to access should be able to continue as well, at least to the greatest extent possible.
For most businesses, a disaster doesn't need to mean a 100% halting of operations – so long as you're properly prepared for such an event. This is where a business continuity plan comes into play.
It's a plan designed to keep the mission-critical elements of your business running as much as possible during a disaster.
This involves some comprehensive and long-term planning, since disasters are, by their very nature, unpredictable.
What Is Disaster Recovery (DR)?Okay, so you've suffered a disaster.
You've got a business continuity plan in place, and critical operations are continuing on more or less as usual, albeit with a limp.
The dust has settled, and the disaster is over.
Everyone is prepared to return to their homes, to work, and to life as usual.
Your business continuity plan was important – it kept your business from grinding to a complete halt – but it was always meant to be only a temporary measure.
Your business can only run for so long on your business continuity plan before it really does grind to a halt. What do you do?
Simple – you implement your disaster recovery plan.
While your business continuity plan is a proactive plan for how to keep things running, your disaster recovery plan is reactive.
It's a response to a disaster after the fact.
Your disaster recovery plan will need to include some specific steps your company will need to take to resume full operations.
Two Sides Of The Same CoinBC/DR is talked about in combination because they're both answers to the same question: "how can I protect my business when a disaster strikes?"
They also have a lot of similarities to each other.
Both are designed to plan for something that is, by nature, unplannable.
Both will keep your business running as much as possible, or at least prevent downtime as much as possible.
And in many cases, both plans will be assembled by the same team.
How Can Skybox Cloud Help With Your BC/DR Planning?Having all of your data located in one place represents a significant vulnerability.
Even if you keep backups of your data, if it's stored at your place of business a disaster could easily wipe out your primary data systems as well as your backups.
Not only that, but if your backups are also damaged or infected with ransomware, your backup plan may end up being moot unless you pay that big fat Bitcoin ransom they're demanding.
This doesn't need to be a catastrophic event either – something as simple as a fire in your office building could lead to complete destruction of your company data. Skybox Cloud can help.
Our fully redundant, replicated cloud storage systems can protect your data from any disaster that may strike.
Even if your office building topples to the ground and turns everything in it to dust, Skybox Cloud can keep your data safe.
Give us a call at 888-352-4940 or contact us at email@example.com to speak with one of our knowledgeable cloud storage consultants.
We'll listen to your needs and put together a plan that can fit nicely with your BC/DR strategy.
Contact Skybox Cloud today to keep your data and your business safe, no matter the weather.