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IT & Internet

Continuity strategy is a must - or risk going out of business

By CreditMan Monday, November 16, 2009

IT specialists at Shoosmiths are urging companies to invest in continuity plans, after figures revealed that more than half of businesses go bust two years after losing critical date through a crisis.

Associate at the national law firm James Armstrong said: "Data system failures can be disastrous, so it is vital companies have coherent and resilient business continuity strategies in place."

A good business continuity plan will enable an organisation to carry on business-critical activities during a crisis caused by an unforeseen event, whether terrorist attack, tsunami, fire, flood, power cut, or virus.

But research shows that as many as 60% of businesses do not have strategies in place to rescue day-to-day operations should disaster strike.

Armstrong said: "All resilient business continuity strategies are underpinned by a well written business continuity plan, featuring a comprehensive set of policies and procedures to ensure critical resources and infrastructure can be restored or replaced during and post-crisis.

"A business continuity plan cannot guarantee a successful resumption of operations, but certainly aids the recovery and survival of an organisation."

A business continuity plan should address the following:

prevention - ensure critical IT systems have sufficient resilience and that there are trained business continuity personnel
continuity - setting out processes so that critical systems and resource skeletons are maintained, together with procedures for switching to back-up systems

recovery - reduce the time it takes to return to normal, setting out steps required to move from crisis back to full operational status

Armstrong added: "Having no business continuity plan, or even an inadequate one, can expose your business to huge risks.

"You can either implement the strategy in-house or go to an external provider. There are pros and cons to each approach, and no right answer. The size, nature and complexity of your IT systems are all important factors.

"It is then important to keep it up to date through constant review, while regularly testing processes and procedures, then make sure staff are aware of those processes, and that they're properly trained."

For further information please contact:
Name: Alastair Gray
Phone: 03700 864096
Email: Alastair.Gray@shoosmiths.co.uk