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Business Continuity Planning: Why You Might Need It

business-continuity-planningYou own your business, you own your successes and you own your problems.

You can handle business problems – an unhappy customer, a staff member who under-performs, a faulty product, a supplier problem that gets passed on to you. These are bread and butter issues and as a small business person you just deal with them.

But there are some problems that are outside your normal scope of action. If a potential IT disaster is one of them please keep reading.

Computer systems are like automobiles – you drive them, clean them, put fuel in them, and you get a loaner when yours is in the shop. But you probably don’t service them, repair them or deal with an emergency without help. If you get hit by another driver you pick up the phone and call a tow truck.

It’s the same with IT – you use computers for everything from keeping accounts and processing orders, from delivery scheduling to the sales management system you just installed, and from emails to social media marketing. You communicate with the world – as well as your computer system – via your iPhone when you are out on the road. The rest of your team does exactly the same.

IT is at the heart of your business.

IT must be fully functional and secure. You run weekly, or even daily, back-ups. You have security software running in the background monitoring to see if a virus or some more dangerous malware has attempted to download onto your systems. you might even replace that detection software every year because you know that new threats are not always detected by last year’s package. You carry out these IT-protecting and, therefore, business-protecting actions a soften as you think fit. It’s what you read about in your trade magazines and what you hear from experts when they deliver a talk to you and your fellow business group members.

But are you doing enough? Are you knowledgeable and experienced enough in IT systems, data protection, threat-resistance and disaster recovery to know that if your systems were damaged you could continue to be fully operational within a day or two?  If not, how long would it take for your business to recover?

Here’s a question to help you to focus – how would you deal with any of these events as far as your IT is concerned?

  • Your premises get destroyed by fire or flood. The building either gets destroyed or everything in it gets soaked by sprinklers or fire hoses
  • Your technology equipment gets stolen or smashed. Remember that Chicago, according to USA.com has a crime rate about twice the national average
  • Your software is destroyed by malware. Major corporations and even Government departments have been attacked. We can assume that they have even more sophisticated firewall software than the average small business

If your business suffers any of these, unlike wrecking your automobile, you can’t just pick up a loaner or call a tow truck. You can’t solve these problems just by going out and getting some new hardware.

What you lose in an IT disaster is the ability to do business. If you suspend doing business you lose profit and if you stay not doing business for long enough you close down.

The bottom line is you don’t continue in business.

As a savvy business owner you have insurance to protect you against unforeseen problems. The insurance you need against an IT disaster is called business continuity planning.

You insure yourself against this sort of IT disaster by working with a technology support company. IT support services are an essential part of making sure you stay in business should a disaster happen.

Please contact us to ask us any questions you might have about disaster potential and recovery, and talk with us about any concerns. We’re very happy to share our experience and offer advice.