Updated: Jul 29
No one expects a fire, or a flood but they happen all the time.
The most common saying I hear is "its not going to happen here" or "we don't have anything that critical"
I will still ask what is your business continuity plan?
Business continuity is an essential part of your daily operating procedure. You have some in place already, I hope. What happens if your business burns down, or is robbed. The what if we need extra money this month, you have a line of credit right? But what if the phones don't work for a week, do you have a plan to be able to answer the phone. If the customer cannot call you who will they call? Your competition because they need what you have today, not when you get your phones working in a week.
You have an alarm system, a fire extinguisher? What about a offsite backup of your critical financial files?
Recently I was tasked with attempting to find a misplaced Quickbooks company file.
"Do you know where you stored the backups" I asked
"My accountant or my book-keeper has them" said the customer
A call to both found that the accountant only had a back from the years earlier tax filing, this was the last time they had touched the file. And the book keeper well the last time they backed up was 6 months ago because they forgot.
A search of the Hard drive where the files were stored proved unfruitful. In fact it seemed that the file had been stored in a temporary folder that had been deleted by a routine maintenance. By the time we got the job the file had been over written. Perhaps we could send it to our data recovery center which usually runs about 1k per drive if they can even retrieve the overwritten file. In the end the customer opted to have the book keeper redo the last 6 months. And now we have a daily offsite backup running on this machine to insure that the files are duplicated several times and even if the whole computer blows up the work that has been done does not have to be done again.
Consider for a moment if you had a business continuity plan in place for your data. That could be as simple as a consultant looking over your files to be sure they are store in a permanent location. And backing up your computer. Trust me this is just as important on the small business level as it is on the large business level and the problem is usually just as bad on every level.
What is your business continuity plan?
To determine this we need to first consider what do you need to operate everyday and what would you do if you did not have access to those resources.
Next we will build a plan to be able access these resources in the event of loss.
Let us start with the realization you need a plan before disaster strikes.
Nate Sheen owns
DataCom Technologies an It Consulting and Management company in Ohio.