Key Components of a Business Continuity Plan

The success of many companies across the globe depends on the stability of their mission-critical IT systems. When these systems go down, companies are often left struggling to deal with a variety of operational issues.

The loss of productivity, money and time associated with downtime can lead to more than just an inconvenience. Some business disasters are capable of driving a company out of business altogether.

Stats tell us that the average cost of one minute of system downtime is about $5,600. The hourly cost of IT downtime can range from $140,000 and $540,000. This is why it’s extremely important for each of your mission-critical systems to have a comprehensive, robust business continuity plan.

Unfortunately, most companies either don’t have such a plan or they have inefficient BCP plans incapable of producing the desired results. The following are some of the key components of a proper BCP program:

  • System resilience solution: This part is to ensure the system’s ability to withstand outages without being forced to perform disaster recovery. A resilient cluster configuration can be a good example here.
  • Backup solution: It is about storing backup copies of critical files and data in case of any possible system outage. A Backup ensures that you will be able to restore at all.
  • Disaster Recovery solution: A technical solution to recovering from any possible disaster in a fast and effective way. DR makes sure that you are able to restore promptly and adhere to your KPIs’ target values. A geographically distanced replica of your DB is a viable example here.
  • Monitoring: This part is also critical. How are you going to start disaster recovery without identifying the issue, or knowing what exactly has caused the system failure? If your system fails on Saturday at midnight and no one is able to restore it till Monday, you will obviously not meet that 1-hour RTO target.
  • Support: In addition to the previous one — how can you recover a mission-critical system that runs 24/7 without having 24/7 technical support and resources?
  • Documentation: This one is pretty obvious. You need to have a good reference to your system’s layout to be able to effectively work and promptly recover.
  • Automation: The fewer manual processes mean minimum chances of human error and systems that can get back online faster.

We will talk more about these essential BCP components in the coming posts.

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