It is the latest IT buzzword, but what exactly does business continuity mean?

Your business has been experiencing steady growth now for a few years.  Revenues are steadily increasing.  The customer base is expanding.  The day-to-day operations are on autopilot.

Then life happens.

This life that happens manifests in many forms.  Perhaps a natural disaster occurs, damaging your infrastructure and destroying hardware containing important data.  Perhaps your power grid goes down, crippling your operation.  An employee could make an honest mistake that ends up costing thousands or millions.  Perhaps your company is the victim of a hacking attack or corporate espionage.  With the right contingency plan in place, your business operations do not have to stop or even slow down.  Your business data does not have to be lost forever.  You don’t have to lose money in the process of a disaster.

So, what does business continuity mean?  It’s taking initiative with planning activities that ensure the delivery of your products or services despite incidents or disasters.  To have business continuity you must have the following:

Diversified Approach – The exchange of information, or data, is the basis of business transactions.  In today’s technology-driven economy, this data isn’t stored on paper, hard disks, or in filing cabinets.  It’s stored on hardware that can be accessed either locally or from the cloud. What does Business continuity mean? A diversified approach.  A mix of both local and cloud storage options provides a great way to ensure that data is safe and always available.  Products such as the Datto NAS are great solutions, backing up data both locally and to the cloud.  As data is backed up, the Datto NAS also provides what is called snapshotting, where data is snapshotted.  These data snapshots allow data to be accessed or restored from any point.

Data Accessibility – Not only should your data be backed up, but it should also be easily accessible.  If your data is backed up to a local device, retrieving that data depends on the availability of the device. Business continuity means data accessibility.  Datto Drive solves this problem by allowing the data for whole organizations to be backed up, synced, and shared across multiple platforms.

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Network Accessibility – If your smartphone is not able to access wi-fi, it can still access a mobile network such as 4G or LTE.  In the event of a network downtime, data may still be accessible locally, but information may not be able to be exchanged.  Business continuity means network accessibility, even in the event of network downtimes.  The Datto DNA solves this problem by providing a 4G failover in the event your local area network goes down.  So even when the internet is down, your business is able to run smoothly.

Business continuity means that your products or services are able to be delivered in the event of an incident or disaster.  To ensure business continuity, you need a plan that diversifies how your data is backed up, ensures data accessibility at all times, and ensures network accessibility even in the event of a network downtime.

Products and services such as Invenio IT and Datto provide these types of solutions for your business needs.  For more information, contact us.

Dale Shulmistra is a Business Continuity Specialist at Invenio IT, responsible for shaping the company’s technology initiatives -- selecting, designing, implementing & supporting business continuity solutions to bolster client operational efficiencies and eliminate downtime.