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Do you have a Business Continuity Plan?

Written by Hollie Malin, Year 12, Campion School

Most people believe that a Business Continuity Plan is only used for data recovery and if cyber attacks happen.  However, a Business Continuity Plan is used throughout any organisation as it ensures operations keep running.

The Hitchman Stone Partnership became an Emerald customer in 2010. They had a busy period in their business where many jobs were coming to them at the same time. As is so often the way, this time coincided with an unfortunate server failure. It was also over the Christmas break! Their existing IT supplier at the time couldn't help them during the Christmas shutdown and wanted to wait until January to send a full purchase order with an upfront charge before any equipment would be ordered. The partners were directed to Emerald and we restored their data by using a back-up on a loan server straight away (Christmas Eve!) without a charge up-front. The business was back to being fully operational at this crucial time and the permanent solution was discussed when work started to calm down in the New Year. This is Business Continuity and a crucial part of the managed service we offer at Emerald to all our maintenance customers.

If you aren't an Emerald customer, you should still have a Continuity Plan!

A Business Continuity Plan could be as simple as a few bullet points. It should include all your critical IT functions including phone lines, broadband, databases, hardware, software, and general applications e.g. email

Business Continuity: List your points of failure

This could be a fault on the external infrastructure causing your broadband and phone lines to be unusable so no customers are able to get in touch. There could also be hardware failure, which risks data being lost. Or harmful malware and ransomware could attack your critical data.

Business Continuity: Check your service level agreements 

This will tell you how long it would take any third party provider to recognise and resolve your issue. This is particularly relevant for your connectivity. Some consumer focused internet providers are low cost but they often don't respond to problems for 3 -5 business days. A business provider would offer a much better service level agreement, although often at a higher cost. It's always worth checking how long your businesss or organisation could be without connectivity when making these important infrastructure decisions.

For more information check out the Facebook Live video above.


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