Important to protect against disasters
Oct 21 2010 The Journal
BUSINESS continuity and its critical importance to business survival is not a new concept. While businesses recognise its significance; a substantial number still view development of continuity plans as a desirable, not essential service.
It is, however, a vital part of protecting the operational efficiency of any company. Too many businesses take this for granted and as a result side-step the issue.
In doing so they risk this decision coming back to haunt them as and when they are faced with a situation that puts their business at risk – such as an environmental disaster, cyber attack or large scale technology failure.
Organisations continue to be regulated and monitored, and ever more so across financial and professional services in the wake of the global economic crash. The tightening of standards by regulatory bodies has meant that businesses must now not only acknowledge but also implement business continuity properly.
Recent regulatory introductions such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Rule No.5, the civil contingencies (BS25999) standard code of practice for businesses and the much anticipated FSA BASEL 3 for instance, all insist that data is secured appropriately and that in the event of an emergency, plans are in place to ensure the organisation can continue to operate with minimum downtime.
With this in mind organisations must prove they have a robust business continuity plan in place to ensure their data is secure, properly backed up and available in a crisis, whatever the magnitude. They must also have contingency plans focused upon re-establishing day-to-day operations as quickly as possible.
Despite all this recent surveys have shown that a large number of companies still do not back up their data or, indeed, have in place an appropriate continuity plan in place. IBM statistics reveal that 80% of companies without a risk management strategy or plan have closed within 18 months, after being affected by a disaster.
Business continuity strategies and plans differ from business to business to suit the needs of the individual organisation, however, as a starting point there are a few key elements that should be central to any risk management strategy.
Critically a comprehensive, robust back-up system that stores data securely offsite at primary, secondary and even tertiary locations must be instigated.
Businesses should look to IT providers that offer purpose built data centres with at least ISO27001 information security accreditation, as they will offer the best levels of resilience.
A business continuity supplier should also offer workplace recovery services.
On a basic level, having such a service means that businesses who suffer a flood or fire for example, can immediately relocate and operate as normal.
Providing business continuity to a range of businesses in the region, we have come across a whole spectrum of crises that companies have faced.
Onyx Group is a leading provider of risk management and business continuity services in the North East and the only company with specialist workplace recovery centres based in both Newcastle and Teesside.
For more information on business continuity and the services Onyx can offer, visit www.onyx.net/recover or call 08009 709 292 to arrange a tour of our new site in Teesside.