What we mean by “Business Continuity Planning”?

Definition of terms is absolutely critical to making sure that in such a complex process as selecting a new IT department team and support agreement things that everyone is on the same page. In this post we discuss some of the basic terms that are thrown around the industry. To be clear, this is how we define these things and it’s critical that you get clarity from whomever you deal with.

Business Continuity Planning is one of those things that has, over the decades, become more and more of an area that seems to be IT’s prerogative. While more and more of your business happens online or on computer, IT is an important part of your planning. Having said that, IT should only be a part of your planning. Your planning should include Acts of God, Bad Actors, Electrical Failure, Physical Security to name a few things.

We are very fortunate to be at another transformative point in the evolution of business information technology. That being one where the ebb and flow of services and tasks is moving back to the mainframe (err, I mean cloud) and we are able to leverage that redundancy and flexibility to increase our uptime and reduce our downtime.

As we look at all the new options for hosted email, hosted applications, hosted storage, hosted services, hosted servers there is a tendency to presume, erroneously, that those parts of your business are now outside your plan. While that is true in one sense, responsibility lies with the vendor, we still have to determine how to operate without the benefits of that service offering. Do we have local backups of our offsite data? (never thought I’d type that) Are there other vendors lined up that can provide the same service to us?

So, to sum up, Business Continuity Planning is about your whole organization and our role is to evaluate what you have now, how it can be “stood up” or a complementary service put in it’s place and calculating how future infrastructure changes will affect you.