How would your business cope in the event of disaster?

The summer floods of 2007 and now 2008 have brought business continuity into sharp focus. In towns and cities up and down the country, businesses found themselves submerged, with invaluable equipment bobbing up and down in water and no premises to conduct business from.

What’s more, those who were not immediately affected by the flood were caught in the backlash, some without utilities, power and water, whilst many smaller businesses unable to recover. It made exciting headlines and great TV news footage. However, for businesses the less exciting effects are considerable.

Whilst business continuity has become a higher priority in recent times, how well prepared are you to maintain operations during, for instance, a flood? The industry has never been so dependent on IT and system downtime can prove catastrophic.

In a digital world, threats such as fire, flood and theft need to be considered and contingency plans formulated. The loss of mission critical data, premises or equipment can literally put an end to your business.

Research over recent years has consistently shown that:

• 90% of businesses that lose critical data in a disaster close within 2 years

• 80% of businesses without an effective disaster recovery plan close within 12 months of a fire or flood

• 40% of businesses that have experienced a disaster never recover fully

You need to ensure that your business is secure by assessing potential threats and implementing a strategy to overcome these.

Many companies specialise in business continuity allowing your business to more robust and reliable whilst allowing it to quickly overcome disaster with minimal impact.

By planning for the worst you can offer invaluable piece of mind to your clients and an assurance that they are in safe hands.

A good business continuity service will recommend and implement the right solutions for you, minimising downtime and ensuring continued trade. Each case should be assessed on an individual basis with specific emphasis on the following:

• Business continuity strategy

• Threat assessment

• Temporary office premises

• Server protection

This post was contributed to by the ZebraHosts team, owners of the first North-East datacentre and providers of hosting, co-location, connectivity and consultancy services