7 tips for managing IT infrastructure of SMEs

How To Develop Your Business Continuity Plan

Developing a Plan For Business Continuity?

As the digital age evolves, organisations in Australia have a growing reliance on technology as a key business enabler, or point of differentiation for their business. The emergence of Software as a Service (SaaS) applications (e.g. Gmail, Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, Xero, CRMonline) has provided ready access to cloud based solutions for some of the more common applications. These are readily backed up and replicated by the service provider, so as long as the user has internet access, they will always be available for user access.

However, many critical applications are not able to be delivered as a SaaS offering. In this case they must remain on company servers in-house or in a data centre, with cloud platforms also providing an alternative option. This means organisations have a responsibility to implement an effective and scalable business continuity solution guaranteeing seamless operation of the business, no matter what happens to its enabling technology.

Every organisation in Australia faces the possibility of major or minor disruptions, through planned events such as IT upgrades or office relocations. There is also a major risk with unplanned events such as technology failure, human error or emergencies like fire, floods and storms. However 85% of Australian organisations don’t have a business continuity plan in place.

It’s rarely possible to maintain all operations in an emergency situation and research shows only 60% of employers feel their employees would know what to do in a disaster. Therefore it’s important to map out business procedures and rank them in order of criticality to the business, this classification will inform the development of a business continuity plan (BCP) and what applications to protect.

Organisations who have categorised their applications can then look at options to maintain business continuity in the event of a disaster, and the solution implemented may vary depending on the categorisation of each application.

Applications supporting critical business processes require the highest level of redundancy built into the BCP, and private cloud environments provide the flexibility and security to deliver these solutions. Typically organisations will look to maintain a fully replicated environment, hosted in a secondary location, where the critical applications are operational and synced to the primary business applications. In an emergency event, when the primary system is not available, users are directed to the fully replicated secondary site, and are able to continue to work.

For non-critical applications, a backup and restore solution may be more appropriate and more cost effective than maintaining a fully replicated environment. It depends entirely on your business and the critical processes that keep it running. The first step is to understand what applications and infrastructure your business relies on. It’s then important to reach out and discover what your options are for protecting your business and removing the risk associated with critical downtime.

That’s where iseek can help, with specialities in Data Centre, Cloud and Connectivity we are able to create a complete solution for you. Located in Brisbane and Sydney, housing data centres in both locations we are well placed to work with you in discovering the right disaster recovery solution. It can range from a simple back-up to a complex private cloud solution, but we are available to work with you in designing and implementing the perfect business continuity plan.

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