Ten tips for creating a business continuity strategy that delivers
Article by Kate Fulkert, Global Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Manager, for Vertiv
No business is immune from risk, and business continuity experts know that key to surviving a crisis is having a robust data centre strategy – keeping the critical infrastructure that powers business operations running.
There’s plenty to consider in today’s fast-changing, unpredictable business landscape. Even though businesses are getting back to “normal” post-Covid, the repercussions of the pandemic continue to impact operations; the widespread shift away from fixed-location workplaces to remote or hybrid models continues to cause challenges, not least tracking and communicating with employees in an emergency. What’s more, a distributed workforce means a significant increase in network endpoints, and each endpoint represents a cybersecurity risk.
The recent extreme weather conditions also can’t be ignored, with various businesses affected by overheating data centres; conditions that are expected to become a regular occurrence.
Tips for Creating a Business Resilient Strategy:
It’s crucial that organisations create plans that consider everything from keeping operations up and running, to dealing with continuing supply chain issues. To ensure the continuity of business here are 10 tips for creating a business resilient strategy:
- Risk assessment and the Business Impact Analysis (BIA): The critical first steps for a comprehensive recovery strategy. Perform the BIA to determine critical business functions and a risk assessment to identify potential mitigations or controls that could be applied.
- Training for remote employees: Businesses should introduce training to help employees know how to react to a crisis independently, such as guidance on shelter locations, Red Cross resources and who to contact if help is needed at home.
- Prepare for extreme weather: Employees working remotely should be trained on how to respond to extreme weather conditions. Certain roles may require uninterruptible power supply (UPS) backup power in which case redundant internet service providers should be included in hybrid work environments.
- Backup data: Data backup becomes critical as the work environment changes. Automatic backups become essential and some on-site may need to be initiated manually. All backups, including backing up data to the cloud – should be hardened against cyber threats.
- Preparation for communication breakdowns:A remote workforce introduces challenges related to emergency communications. Develop lists with all available means of communication for all employees and reach out early with instructions in the event of communication interruptions.
- Emergency staffing: The preference for many companies today is to shift work virtually, but staff on site may still be required and needed immediately. Have plans in place to replenish staff to maintain critical business functions.
- Manage vendors: As supply chains continue to lag, businesses should consider adding vendors and suppliers to their mass notification systems to ensure critical communications are not interrupted. It’s also important that critical business functions have more than one vendor in place in the event that vendor has a supply chain issue.
- Build redundancy across your team: It’s critical today to build redundancies into teams – if one person is working remotely and can’t contribute, make sure there is a backup.
- Consider the opportunists: Chaos provides cover for cyber criminals. Training employees on cybersecurity best practices is more critical than ever with the shift to remote work.
- Test your plans: Vertiv has increased testing of plans twofold this year and is expanding on the types of tests performed. For example, we are adding more shelter in place and speed drills for crisis response. Testing does not need to be complicated but is the best means to get recovery plans communicated.
Vertiv brings together hardware, software, analytics and ongoing services to ensure its customers’ vital applications run continuously, perform optimally and grow with their business needs. As Architects of Continuity™, Vertiv solves the most important challenges facing today’s data centers, communication networks and commercial and industrial facilities with a portfolio of power, cooling and IT infrastructure solutions and services that extends from the cloud to the edge of the network. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, USA, Vertiv employs approximately 20,000 people and does business in more than 130 countries. For more information, and for the latest news and content from Vertiv, visit Vertiv.com.
Visit the DATACENTRE.ME Directory Listing for Vertiv here.
Disclaimer: DATACENTRE.ME may not be held responsible or liable for the content or details within this news article.