Business Continuity

Tomorrow I’m heading off to the Business Continuity Expo to have a potter round the latest solutions for keeping your business running in the face of the unexpected. The exhibition, by its very nature will be preaching to currently or soon to be converted, but this is something that organisations should perhaps pay more attention to than is currently the case.

According to the show organisers, UK organisations face a significant threat to business continuity on average about once every 4 years. The severity of this threat can obviously vary enormously, as can the amount of potential damage, what is clear is that a business continuity plan, like any insurance policy is one of those things that really didn’t realise how valuable it’d be until you needed it.

There are a range of solutions out there that will keep your business going should the worst happen, from remote hosting, offsite back up etc. The one thing that they have in common is what they’re not. They’re not disaster recovery, they will ensure that essential functions can keep going even if you office was flattened by a wayward bus, or burnt down by the catering trainee inexperienced with the chip pan.

A company that I once worked for was nearly brought to its knees when its whole data storage array collapsed. This left the building standing of course, and the employees were quite happy coming into work everyday, happily unaware that all the accounting data, stored articles etc were now probably more reachable by a clairvoyant than the IT manager.

My boss at the time a notoriously parsimonious individual had decided that as the array hadn’t broken down before, it wouldn’t breakdown in the future. It had in his words, a 100% service record. This of course shows the folly of predicting entirely based on past trends, and how by not spending a little at one time can cost you a lot in future.

In the end, nearly all the data was recovered, and the company could carry one with just a minor blip rather than a major dislocation. Being made up the way that I am, I’m convinced that had my boss put in place some form of business continuity/disaster prevention scheme nothing would ever happened, like the way umbrella’s seem to ward off rain.

I look forward to returning from the show with plenty more buzz words to elucidate on in the coming weeks.