Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning; A Preparation Guide

Posted by: Amira Bird

December 07, 2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, a proactive approach is your most powerful business tool. By understanding the dynamics of BCDR, crafting a robust plan, and investing in the right tools and technologies, you’ll be capable of facing adversity head-on and emerging stronger than ever. 

In this article, we’ll cover what BCDR is, as well as the steps to putting together a business continuity and disaster recovery plan. Finally, we’ve included a couple of recovery strategies that have helped our clients continue operating smoothly in the past. 

 

Understanding BCDR (Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery) 

In the fast-paced world of IT, acronyms are thrown around like confetti at a celebration. One that you’ve probably stumbled upon is BCDR. Don’t worry, it’s not just a jumble of letters—it stands for business continuity and disaster recovery. And, it’s actually the combination of two closely related practices. 

Weathering the storm with business continuity 

Business continuity is all about making sure that, come what may—be it a cyber attack, a power outage, or even a Godzilla-sized computer crash—your business can keep humming along. Business continuity is the processes in place that ensure that your company doesn’t skip a beat, no matter what chaos is unfolding in the background. 

Bouncing back in the face of disaster 

Now, disaster recovery is all about getting back on track after the unexpected hits the fan. It’s the plan and the tools in place to retrieve lost data, fix the glitches, and ensure you have all the data and tools you need to keep your business running. 

In a nutshell, BCDR is your IT safety net. It’s the meticulous plan and the arsenal of tools that keep your business standing tall in the face of adversity, whether it’s a minor hiccup or a full-blown disaster. 

 

How to Build a BCDR Plan 

Building a BCDR isn’t rocket science, but it does require a strategic approach.  

1. Risk assessment 

Before you can battle the forces of chaos, you need to know your enemies. Conduct a thorough risk assessment. Consider what could go wrong. Everything from cyber attacks, natural disasters, or just a rogue cup of coffee spilled in a server room.  

Identify potential threats and prioritise them based on their potential impact on your operations. 

2. Define what you need to operate 

Define the critical objectives—what aspects of your business operations are absolutely non-negotiable? This could include customer data, IT infrastructure, essential applications, or the secret sauce recipe that makes your business unique. 

3. Scope out the impact 

By understanding the impact of the potential risks, and what would happen if your infrastructure is unavailable, you can start to consider the potential cost of business downtime.  

You should know how long your business systems can be down for (for example, no longer than 2 days) as well as what systems you rely on.  

With a better understanding of this, you will know what is most important in your BCDR plan as well as the budget you can invest in your business continuity.  

4. Create your plan

Using this information, you can start to plan where you will prioritise your resources for BCDR. If it’s most important that you have access to your client or business data, you know that maintaining data backups needs to be prioritised in your plan. As part of this plan, you should include what is needed to minimise your downtime, including teams and company communications.  

Here at Sydney ICT, we identify a Business Continuity Disaster Recovery solution that balances your affordability and needs to create a BCDR plan tailored to you.   

5. Finally, implement your solutions 

With a plan in place, all that is left is to roll out your solution to ensure that in the case of emergency, you’re ready. 

With a solid plan in place, you can face the unknown with confidence. 

 

BCDR Plan Example 

We have a client that houses their servers locally in their office. Without BCDR, they are at risk of a number of different disasters, from flooding to phishing attacks. In the case of disaster, no one in the office would be able to access the critical infrastructure to continue business, including their data.   

However, with BCDR, we’d recommended they do regular backups so that in the case of emergency, we can recover their data.  

While more costly, another solution is to run 2 servers with one out of the office so that staff don’t even notice that server has gone down.  

Another option is to run partly on the cloud – for example 365 – as it’s up to the Microsoft platform to keep things running within their minimum SLAs. This option would also help in the case of a broken laptop as a staff member can quickly access their cloud and infrastructure that you need on a new device. We can even set up organisation settings that would automate the set up of new devices so that staff members don’t even need to download the applications they need.  

 

Unfortunately, the nature of disaster often means that its unforeseeable. Creating a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plan is key to ensuring that your business operations continue smoothly – even when disaster strikes.  

Here at Sydney ICT, we work closely with you to create a plan that is tailored to your business. We base your solution to your unique needs as well as balancing it to your business type and what is affordable for you. While we hope your BCDR plan isn’t ever needed, we know that the cost of BCDR is less than the cost of losing data, clients, or your brand reputation.  

Get in touch today to find out how we can help support your business in the face of unforeseeable disaster.

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