Continuity Is More than Disaster Recovery

Sometimes the term business continuity is thrown around in the same breath as backup or disaster recovery, and in a similar way that all scotch is whisky.

But not all whisky is scotch. Disaster recovery is part of business continuity but they’re not the same thing. If the last few weeks have made anything clear from an IT perspective, it’s the need for a full-blown business continuity plan. That’s because it’s not always the hard outages or server crashes that cause a business to need to shift gears, but social and environmental issues as well.

I’ve talked with colleagues all over the United States who are experiencing huge issues with enabling their clients to work from home, mostly because they don’t have anything in place to provide that functionality when it previously wasn’t needed.

And migrating to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) isn’t an overnight process as data usually need to move to the cloud as well, which can take days or weeks.

I’m not going to say Avrem Technologies is perfect; but fortunately for us and our clients, we set some minimum hardware standards about two years ago and stuck to them.

Some clients found them to be overkill at the time but every one of those clients ended up using the built-in router VPN capabilities to remotely access their office computers from home.

It took only minutes to spin up and a little more time to get everyone working but they are working. This has also given VOIP phone systems an opportunity to shine. The biggest issue we’re fighting is poor internet service in the homes of some of our clients’ employees. But it’s a small issue compared to the bigger, national picture.

When the dust around COVID-19 settles in the coming weeks or months and everyone is in a rush to get back to business as usual, I implore you, don’t. Don’t just put the situation behind you and carry on as if nothing happened. Take a lesson from the last few weeks and work on a business continuity plan with your IT consultant. 

And if you don’t have one, get one, whether it be us or someone else because this is important. It seems like overkill until the day your entire company workforce needs to work from home.

Planning frameworks exist for most business continuity scenarios and a few brainstorming sessions can help fill in the gaps and tailor a plan to your needs and unique work environment.

Even a rough idea, documented properly and discussed ahead of time can help provide some guidance when you’re in the thick of it. 

You certainly don’t want your first conversation about business continuity to be the day you need it.

Editor’s Note: Robert Merva is the owner and CEO of Avrem Technologies, a Canfield-based business IT and cybersecurity consulting firm he started in 2007. Avrem monitors and manages the networks, servers, computers and software that businesses rely on every day. By combining a unique approach with years of experience and proven solutions, clients have more uptime, are more efficient and have better security, all with fewer headaches.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.