Business continuity means the uninterrupted provision of products and services even during an adverse event. It’s indispensable for any company, be it a small business or a multinational company.
The term business continuity refers to the strategy where it is possible to prevent "disasters" and ensure the survival of the essential functions of the organization.
With this in mind, digitisation offers us an opportunity. However, dematerialising of information assets also poses risks. Data is the primary asset upon which companies depend on daily. Losing them, whether entirely or partially, or even just being unable to access them has a paralyzing effect.
Let’s take a look below at the five measures to guarantee business continuity through IT.
1. No single point of failure
The concept of redundancy in IT, specifically in data management infrastructures, is far from negative.
Redundant systems reduce data infrastructure weakness against failures or anomalies through a duplicated configuration.
Data centers are classified according to their ability to guarantee business continuity to companies. There are four levels that provide us with a benchmark. With Tier III, you can already expect a 99.98% continuity guarantee, which equates to a maximum of 1.6 hours of interruption per year. With these systems, it’s also possible to carry out maintenance interventions without having to interrupt company operations.
2. Electrical and cooling continuity
UPS systems are certainly not new among the insiders. For those who don’t know, UPS stands for Uninterruptible Power Supply. These are devices that go between the main power source and any device and accumulate energy when there is regular power supply to ensure continuity of operation in case of power interruptions. A data management infrastructure can’t do without it.
Another important aspect is temperature. The continuity of cooling must be ensured through systems that are simple but effective, and with complete coverage. Remember that the optimal temperatures for the IT equipment are between 22 and 24°C and that even climatic changes can have an extremely negative impact.
3. On-site security and vigilance
In what other areas can we guarantee the functionality of the data centre? With the most basic of solutions: through video surveillance!
IT infrastructures, which are extremely important to ensure business continuity, should be monitored 24/7 through a network of video cameras placed at strategic points.
Additional security can also be provided through different tools, such as fingerprint checking and access tracking systems.
It’s not just about monitoring and controlling the physical infrastructure. In this digital world, the most dangerous attacks can come from the web.
These attacks can also cause loss of relevant information or block the operation of the systems. Here, the ISO/IEC 27001 standard comes into play. It’s an international standard that defines the requirements to ensure a high level of information security.
A very interesting part of this is Annex A, which details the 133 controls which a company must refer not just to ensure business continuity but also to comply with the law.
5. Management of alarms and intervention procedures
We all know that prevention is better than cure. But to be able to foresee every kind of failure or anomaly is just not humanly possible.
Your business continuity strategy mus, therefore, consist of an accurate and efficient alarms or triggers system, as well as specific intervention procedures to be followed to solve any problem, thus reducing the risks and information leaks.
In the event of an emergency, operators in charge of the IT infrastructure must be able to rely on pre-defined procedures, as well as be aware of the problem as soon as possible.
In conclusion, ensuring operational continuity of your data management infrastructure is not a simple task. But at the same time, this is a topic that shouldn’t be ignored. Losing information or time due to missing data can have significant economic impacts, while also jeopardizing the credibility and image of the organisation.
If you don’t have the resources or the skills to manage the systems in their complexity, choosing to outsource can offer better services at lower costs.