Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, most companies would associate business continuity with a set of processes/procedures to provide access to critical IT systems in the event of an extended power and/or internet outage at their main office. What those companies aren’t considering is all of the other components that go into running day-to-day operations (e.g. cutting checks, paying vendors, running payroll, taking phone calls, etc.). With most businesses now settling into a new type of work environment, it is a good time to take stock of the IT systems, policies and procedures that support business operations. Are your procedures flexible enough to allow your team to continue to work effectively? Do they provide adequate security and visibility? Can they continue should the current situation extend beyond the expected timeline? With these concerns in mind, here are some potential projects to consider undertaking to improve your business continuity processes.
Make A Plan
If you don’t have a business continuity plan, now would be the time to build one and if you do have an existing plan, take time to review and update your plan to accommodate for changes in staff, systems, business processes, etc. As mentioned above, a business continuity plan should account for not only how to keep critical IT systems running but also how to keep critical business processes running. Making this plan should involve input from several business areas such as: finance, marketing/communications, IT, compliance and key outside vendors. The plan should cover topics such as:
- Identifying specific individuals to compromise a business continuity team
- Identifying systems and processes critical to running your business
- Determining approved communication methods
- Documenting contact information for key internal team members and external vendors/contacts
Typically, a disaster recovery plan is referenced in the business continuity plan. The disaster recovery plan will provide detailed guidance on how to provide, or, restore access to critical IT systems.
Assess Your Environment
The pandemic has tested the adaptability of corporate IT systems and infrastructures; challenging companies to navigate new technological obstacles to keep their teams operating effectively. Some of these challenges include:
- Monitoring user and device activity outside the corporate firewall
- Securely accessing corporate data systems remotely
- Loss of productivity due to inflexible IT infrastructure
- Influx of “BYOD” devices connecting to the corporate network
- Adjusting workflows/processes to adapt to a dispersed workforce
Take the time to complete a comprehensive assessment of your IT environment to identify potential opportunities to better support this new working environment and to better support your team when they return to the office.
How We Can Help
From infrastructure-wide assessments to BCP/DR plan development and testing, Bennett Thrasher’s Technology Services team helps companies solve their unique technology challenges and initiatives.
In addition to helping businesses develop a business continuity plan, BTTS offers a full suite of outsourced IT services including:
- Fractional CIO services
- Managed endpoint security
- Managed offsite backup
- Helpdesk and NOC services