When your IT infrastructure takes a hit, will your business fall?

When your IT infrastructure takes a hit, will your business fall?

Many things can disrupt business operations, and computer systems failure can be the most debilitating. Damaged and malware-infected machines need time to be repaired. Replacement components have to be ordered and installed. Also, databases can be compromised. Modern businesses run on data, so backups must be made usable as soon as possible to reduce downtime.

The immediate resumption of processes for delivering goods and services after a major disruption is called business continuity — and planning for it may very well mean the survival of your business. Don’t be the business that plans for business continuity only after a disaster occurs. Partner with a managed IT services provider (MSP) to help you strategize for and come out from worst-case scenarios. Here are some of the things that a reputable MSP will insist on preparing for:

1) Machine failure

No machine is ever perfect; all machines run sub-optimally or outright fail at some point in their useful lives, be it due to a manufacturer’s mistake, regular wear and tear, or an extraordinary event such as a flash flood.

With this concern in mind, a reliable MSP can draft a disaster recovery plan (DRP) to mitigate the damage that hardware failure can cause. As part of an overall business continuity strategy, disaster recovery focuses on recovering critical business data that may otherwise be lost to time.

2) Power failure

Power outages can bring your machines to a grinding halt unless you planned ahead with a backup power supply. With uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and/or gas-powered generators, your staff can keep on working while your not-so-lucky competitors lose precious productivity.

3) Internet connection failure

Over-reliance on one internet service provider (ISP) can mean catastrophe if it suddenly can’t provide you with the connection you need. Your MSP can set you up with multiple ISPs so you’re always online without hurting your budget.

4) Cyberattacks

Canadian firms continue to increase their investment in cybersecurity (even going over $14 billion in 2017), and many employ MSPs to protect them against online threats. Of course, reliable MSPs will put up the best cybersecurity defense for you, but countless vulnerabilities continue to appear, and hackers are always seeking ways to take advantage of these.

In the event of a breach, you’ll need your MSP to implement damage mitigation measures while ensuring that many business functions can still operate. For instance, the service provider can investigate the scope of the breach, quarantine affected areas, and implement backups as needed to keep the business running.

5) Human error

People, by far, are the biggest cause of downtime in business. Server administrators doing double shifts may, in their drowsy state, mistakenly erase whole servers’ worth of data. Staff unfamiliar with how phishing campaigns look like may open malicious attachments and let hackers into your network. And with the use of collaboration tools and personal smart devices on the rise, the number and types of vulnerabilities continue to increase at a rapid pace.

Related article: What Canadian businesses must learn after spending $14B on cybersecurity

While there are now many tools available to prevent and mitigate the effects of human error, such as rights management programs, intrusion detection systems, and multi-factor authentication, it still pays to have a plan in place in case somebody’s mistake significantly disrupts business operations.

A business continuity strategy can feature incremental cloud-based data backups that revert systems back to when they were error-free. Another solution is to have virtualized desktops and servers on standby so that staff have machines to use in case theirs are taken out of commission.

IT infrastructure is vital in modern organizations — will yours be able to get back up if your IT takes a hit? Make sure your firm is ready for disastrous uncertainties by having a business continuity plan in place. At XBASE, our consultants have the expertise you need to help you develop and implement a strategy that best suits your company. Drop us a line to discover how our Exponentially Better™ IT services can help your business recover from disasters faster than your competitors could.

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