You can’t predict when disaster will strike. All you can do is prepare for it.
And it’s the companies that have made plans to keep themselves up and running after a major disruption that have the best chance of survival, said Vito Mangialardi, director of the business continuity management program at Allstream, on the July 14 episode of Kitchener’s 570News B2B radio program, hosted by Ian Mclean and Greg Durocher.
Mangialardi offered a depressing statistic: businesses that aren’t prepared for disasters and suffer a major data loss tend to go belly up after just two years.
That’s why it’s crucial to have two major plans, he said. First is a disaster recovery plan, which covers all the policies and procedures that come into play after a catastrophic event (whether it’s a natural disaster, a power failure, or a cyber-attack). Then there’s the business continuity plan, which lays out all the measures your company needs to take to remain operational during a difficult time, preserving critical business functions and shielding clients from the force of the blow.
“It’s mitigation by design, as I like to call it,” he said. “For example, if your office is not there, where does your workforce go?”
Larger enterprises will tend to use a provider that has a physical data centre used for BC/DR, backing up and, if necessary, keeping their clients online 24/7 during any event, said Mangialardi. Small to medium-sized businesses, on the other hand, don’t need to pay for physical or on-premise BC/DR infrastructure. Cloud-based services can do the job handily, offering real-time availability of critical systems while costing less, he said.
Mangialardi also spoke about how BC/DR plans should be seen as living documents, changing as a business evolves. The more dynamic your company, the more its plans need to change, he said. If telecommunications is critical to your business operations, you should ask your telecom service provider about diverse, private or high-availability networks, he said.
“If your business is struck by one of these disasters, it can have a negative impact on your reputation and your brand,” he said, referring to the recent Calgary floods.
And a key point to remember: when you talk to your provider, Mangialardi stressed, focus on the services—not the technology itself.
Listen to the podcast replay of the B2b Show with Vito’s interview near the close of the program.
Begin your own mitigation by design plan by downloading ‘Business Continuity for SIP Trunking: Ensuring Critical Connections,’ from Allstream.