What is Business Continuity?
Business continuity is the process of setting in place a contingency plan in case of an unexpected event that threatens an organization’s ability to operate. Such events could include ransomware attacks, unexpected failures, outages, and natural disasters. Business continuity is closely related to — and complements — disaster recovery (DR), and are together known as BCDR. Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, business continuity strategies focus on keeping the organization as a whole operational while disaster recovery strategies focus on restoring IT systems as rapidly as possible.
Why is Business Continuity Important?
Failure to plan for unexpected disruptions — from an hour of downtime to a years-long pandemic — can be disastrous for organizations. In a worst-case scenario, a business may never recover and may have to close permanently. Creating a comprehensive and — most importantly — a well-tested business continuity plan helps ensure that your organization can survive disasters.
A continuity plan is critical for a variety of reasons, including:
- Protecting lives — If a dangerous incident occurs, such as a fire or earthquake, triggering an effective business continuity plan can prevent unnecessary injuries, even deaths
- Keeping the lights on during the disaster — A well-planned business continuity strategy will ensure that downtime is minimized, business impact is mitigated, employee productivity is still near-normal, and that commercial operations are not disrupted due to an unforeseen event
- Getting back to business-as-usual more swiftly — A well-designed business continuity also entails returning to normal as soon as possible, with well-laid out blueprints to restore data and networks, commercial activities, and a return to workspaces
- Minimizing the costs of an unexpected catastrophe — If your business isn’t operational, revenues will freeze, but expenses will continue to accumulate. Additionally, the cost of addressing damage from the disaster could be significant. With a business continuity plan, your ability to generate revenue continues despite the catastrophe. In many cases, a business continuity plan that exhibits wise forethought even has the potential to reduce the damage caused by disasters
- Gaining a competitive edge — Your ability to resume operations immediately or soon after a disaster gives you a distinct advantage over competitors that haven’t put together an adequate business continuity plan
- Mitigating corporate risk — The steps taken to implement a comprehensive business continuity plan, such as having the right backup and recovery solutions and processes in place, mean that you’re reducing overall corporate risk, such as that of data loss or breach
- Protect your organization’s reputation — Businesses that go offline during a disaster and can’t quickly pick up the pieces lose loyalty in the marketplace. Your business continuity plan helps you make a swift recovery, preserving your brand’s reputation and value
- Complying with regulatory requirements — Privacy laws are multiplying, from the European Union’s GDPR to the California Consumer Privacy Act. Losing data could result in severe penalties. And depending on your industry, you may have other strict regulations governing the loss or theft of sensitive data. A business continuity plan helps you remain compliant in the face of unexpected disruption
- Sleeping better at night — Finally, a business continuity plan can give you greater peace of mind that you have contingency plans in case something goes wrong
Your ability to recover from a disaster — natural, technical, health, or human error — is essential for your business to survive over the long term.
IT is a major consideration in any business continuity plan. If your businesses cannot provide access to data, applications, and infrastructure because of a natural disaster or cyberattack, the repercussions are serious.
Yet many organizations struggle because of the fragmented nature of their IT environments.
Business Continuity and Cohesity
A mainstay of any business continuity plan is a robust disaster recovery (DR) solution. Because attackers, disasters, and human errors are unpredictable, a DR solution must always be ready for the worst-case scenario to ensure a viable business continuity plan.
Cohesity boosts business continuity strategies by providing a DR solution as part of its comprehensive data management platform rather than a patchwork of legacy, on-premises DR products that only protect specific application tiers and meet the individual corresponding service levels. Cohesity’s platform caters to the protection and recovery of all your applications — on-prem or in cloud. With a unified policy engine that lets you control your protection (snapshots/continuous) and failover (secondary site/cloud) modalities, Cohesity puts you in control of your business continuity plan. The Cohesity solution is deeply automated, with instant failover and recovery across business-critical as well as mission-critical applications, service levels, and environments with near-zero downtime and almost no data loss.
While there are multiple ways to design a robust backup/DR plan, the goal is the same: to deliver always-on resiliency and availability to your customers and employees. Cohesity helps you do this by eliminating your legacy DR silos, consolidating the recovery processes of all your critical data and infrastructure on a single, seamless, automated software platform.