What is Business Continuity Planning, Why is it important, How LINBIT can help

If we’ve learned anything over the past 18 months, it’s that in life, as well as business, it’s important to expect the unexpected. Business continuity planning is talked about now more than ever. We hope this article can provide some insight on what it is, why it’s important, and what it entails. 

What is business continuity planning? 

Unexpected events can disrupt day-to-day business operations at any time. Business continuity refers to the idea of having a plan to deal with these events, so your organization can continue operating with minimal disruption. A good business continuity plan identifies potential threats and analyzes how they would impact business function. It also establishes a framework to deal with these threats in an effective manner that minimizes negative impact. 

We break the planning process down into five key steps:

Step 1: Risk-assessment

This step includes:

  • Evaluation of the company’s risks and exposures
  • Assessing the impact of different disruption scenarios 
  • Determining the most likely threats

     

Step 2: Business Impact Analysis (BIA)

This step includes:

  • Recovery objectives, including both recovery point objectives (RPO) and recovery time objectives (RTO)
  • Critical business processes as well as the supporting applications
  • Internal and external interdependencies 
  • Critical staff, backups, and skill sets

     

Step 3: Business Continuity Plan Development 

This step includes:

  • Combining Risk Assessment and BIA findings into a thorough and actionable plan
  • Developing departmental, region, and site-level plans 
  • Reviewing plan with key stakeholders to finalize and put into action

     

Step 4: Strategy and Plan Development

This step includes:

  • Ensure that the recovery times you have stated in your plan are obtainable and meet the BIA objectives 
  • Incorporate different perspectives from staff across the organization to help map the overall feel and company focus 
  • Have management and executive teams review and sign off on plan

     

Step 5: Plan Testing & Maintenance

This step includes:

  • Conducting various simulation exercises to ensure comfort in executing the plan’s steps 
  • Executing bi-annual plan reviews 
  • Keep up with ever-changing BIA to make sure the plan stays relevant

     

Why is it important?

In today’s “always-on” world, downtime has become largely unacceptable. Business continuity allows an organization to respond quickly in times of crisis. This is crucial, not only to save money and time, but also to minimize damage to a company’s reputation. Depending on the industry, business continuity might even be required for legal and compliance purposes. It’s important to know the industry-specific rules and regulations that affect your business. 

Business continuity plans should offer clear guidelines for what an organization needs to maintain basic operations. When a business-disruption event occurs, there should be no question how the company should proceed. The customers, company and employees are all at stake. 

How can LINBIT help?

LINBIT’s mission is to keep your mission critical systems running. We know how much damage failure events can cause not only to the bottom line but also a company’s reputation in the marketplace. We imagine a world where tragedies and disruptions to business operations are a worry-free occurance and you never lose a write or access to your data. 

DRBD® is our answer for keeping your systems up and running 24/7×365. It keeps real-time replicas of your data available so when one system fails, another takes over instantaneously. It can be used for system high-availability, as well as disaster recovery where it will replicate data to a DR location in the event of a full-site failure. 

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