This is a really tough question. How can I determine how much you need to spend to ensure that you have adequate business continuity plans in place? This will depend upon how much is required to ensure you have built-in redundancy for the services that your business relies upon.
Initially, you do not need to spend a cent on your business continuity plan. You do however need to spend some time on it. You need to look at each of your business locations, see which services they rely upon and very simply work out what you would need to do to find alternative ways of providing these services for short-term outages and also for longer outages. There are two aspects to your business continuity plan; the actions required when a disaster strikes and then the subsequent steps to recovery once your backup plans are in place and you need to revert back to normal running conditions.
The size of your operation and the intricacy of your premises and services all combine to determine how simple or complex your business continuity plan will be.
For example, if you have an in-house Telkom switchboard at your offices with no 3G failover, then when cable theft occurs in your area you will completely lose all telephony for an indeterminate period. Building redundancy into the services you receive is essential in any business and especially in our country, as infrastructure maintenance spending is sacrificed to salary increases.
If one looks at statistics gathered worldwide, it is obvious that a business continuity plan is essential in any business:
25% of PCs will fail in some form this year (Gartner)
24% of companies have experienced a data disaster of note (Forrester)
An average mid-sized company experiences between 16-20 hours of network, system or application downtime per year (Gartner)
70% of companies that experience a major data disaster go out of business within a year (PWC)
In reality, not having a business continuity plan is like gambling your life savings on one all-in hand of poker.
It could cost you your business and your employees their jobs. Having insurance is not a business continuity plan. Yes, you must have insurance and there are very good offerings out there for businesses. However, insurance forms only a part of your business continuity plan, it is not your complete continuity plan. As we mentioned above, there are two aspects to your business continuity plan; the actions required when a disaster strikes and then the subsequent steps to recovery once your backup plans are in place and you need to revert back to normal running conditions.
Business continuity plans are also about improving your business in all areas.
What business wouldn't want to cover these bases of managing disaster and constantly improving one's business? We believe businesses need to be taking business continuity seriously. So much so that we are busy developing a cloud-based business continuity application that will help reduce the effort and costs of creating a business continuity plan.
In addition to providing hosted, cutting edge business continuity software, IronTree will also offer business continuity planning consulting services to ensure that a company is ready and able to embrace a culture of planning for disasters and to be able to change the mind-set of a company to one of constant improvement.