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Wednesday, 13 May 2015 05:00

Is IT Running Your Business?

Written by  Paul Franks

When you ask your IT person if he or she is confident the business continuity, backup, and disaster recovery plans they have in place are sufficient, do they often reply with, “Everything is okay?” Does this response give you confidence? Do you take their word for it? After all, they are the technology experts.

Have you ever challenged them when they say, "Everything is okay?" Have you asked them to prove that your data is being backed up, tested both locally and in the cloud? Have you conveyed to them the importance of costs associated with downtime in your business? Do they know 40 percent of companies whose disaster recovery and business continuity plans fail and go out of business within a year? They may or may not know this. It’s not that they take their job lightly, but most IT department managers/directors haven’t been told how much downtime would really cost. That’s why it’s important that the CEO/business owner take the lead in business continuity and disaster recovery instead of the IT department.

We’ve gone into why you should take the lead. Now let’s talk about how.

Step 1 - You need to form a group or committee within your business that consists of both executives and IT staff.

Step 2 - There are three questions that need to be addressed in these meetings.

  1. How much will it cost if we are down? Most CEOs or business owners know how much per hour it will cost if their business is down due to technology failure or a disaster.
  2. How long can systems remain down before it starts to negatively impact your business? We call this recovery time objective (RTO).
  3. How much data can we afford to lose? We call this recovery point objective (RPO). Remember, both executives and IT need to be part of the meetings.

Step 3 – This step will be to define a solution that meets the business objectives in relation to your questions and answers. Being a CEO and a technology specialist, I know this may seem like a daunting task. Your IT staff may think they don’t have the time to research and define the right solution. Maybe they don’t. That’s when you find an expert who specializes in business continuity. It needs to be someone who can bring your IT team up-to-date on the latest options in technology that they may not have had time to research. Many people call on outsourced IT companies to help. The catch is that those companies’ staff, like your own, do not have the time and resources dedicated for the tasks associated with business continuity. That’s why we got out of the all needs outsourced IT business and decided to focus solely on the single piece of IT that may not make, but could certainly break, a company.

Franks-PaulPaul Franks is a successful technology entrepreneur. During his 20-year career, Franks has developed multiple organizations and professional teams to meet a broad scope of technology needs for business clients of all shapes and sizes. The growing demand for intelligent business continuity solutions in his customer base lead Franks to launch ThinkGard to focus solely on disaster preparedness in the SMB marketplace.