Why Managed Services Should Be Part of Your Business Continuity Plan
A disaster is, by definition, an unexpected event. Even with some advance notice of an impending calamity, organizations can suffer serious losses. That’s why it’s critically important to have an up-to-date and tested business continuity plan. Personnel need to know what to do in the face of disaster to maintain critical operations and minimize disruption.
A managed services provider (MSP) can be an important ally in business continuity planning. Because IT systems are essential for most business functions, you need a strategy for rapidly responding to an outage. Best-in-class MSPs can help you architect a resilient IT infrastructure and have the expertise and processes to keep your systems up and running. The MSP can also provide the technology tools needed to maintain communications and enable alternate work arrangements.
Business continuity planning starts with understanding the threats to the business and their implications.
What Is A Business Continuity Plan?
A business continuity plan provides the information and procedures an organization needs to maintain or quickly restore business functions in the event of a major disruption. It should cover:
- Human resources
- Business processes
- Key assets
- Supply chains
- Business partners — any component of day-to-day operations that could be affected by a disaster.
Disaster recovery planning is only a subset of business continuity planning — albeit an important one. A disaster recovery plan focuses on procedures for restoring IT systems and infrastructure after a catastrophic event. It should identify all IT functions within the organization and the importance of each function to operations. It also should document system dependencies, the network architecture, data backup and recovery processes, and more, and provide information on software licenses, maintenance agreements and support contacts.
How to Develop a Business Continuity Plan
Business continuity planning starts with understanding the threats to the business and their implications:
- Is the area prone to severe weather events?
- What is the likelihood or frequency of an extended power outage?
- What if you lost Internet connectivity?
- Can you quickly detect and contain a cyberattack?
The next step is to identify key business areas, important functions within each area, and critical dependencies. What is an acceptable amount of downtime for each function? How will you communicate with customers and business partners? Could personnel work from an alternate location if your facilities were seriously damaged?
Next comes a business impact analysis (BIA). The BIA determines which business functions are vulnerable to the identified threats and the potential impact of an incident. What losses would your business suffer if a function was down for a day, a week or more? This information helps you prioritize activities that minimize business disruption.
How GDS Can Help
Global Data Systems specializes in managed IT solutions and services that help ensure the continuity of business-critical functions. Every solution we offer is backed by 24x7 monitoring and management by our expert team. We assume responsibility for the systems and networks we support and rapidly respond to any issues that arise. Our Network Operations Center is equipped with backup power and redundant systems so that we can remain operational.
We also provide our customers with highly resilient networks that can maintain voice and data connectivity despite service provider outages. Our NOMAD solutions allow you to quickly set up operations in any location where there’s a power source, so you can access the applications, data and services you need to remain in business.
GDS supports customers in health care, energy, marine transportation, and other industry sectors where downtime isn’t an option. Shouldn’t GDS be part of your business continuity plan? Let us put our advanced technologies, proven processes and years of experience to work protecting your critical operations.
Benefits of Managed IT Services from Global Data Systems
- Strategic Managed IT: We help you solve your technology related business problems.
- Connectivity: We get you reliable, secure connectivity anywhere in the western hemisphere in 48 hours.
- Support: When you need help simply call our 24x7x365 support number.
- Billing: Instead of managing hundreds of vendors - get one, easy to read bill from GDS.