12-27-21 | Blog Post

5 Reasons You Need a Cloud Business Assessment and Continuity Plan

Blog Posts

No business owner wants to think about the fact that they might be struck by a disaster, natural or manmade. However, there are many disasters a business can face that may be devastating. Anything can happen, from a hurricane to a cyber attack to a key employee suddenly becoming a problem rather than an asset.

There are five reasons why you need a cloud-based continuity plan:

1. Ninety percent of small businesses who are struck by a disaster fail, according to the United States Small Business Administrator. FEMA says that after a major natural disaster, 40 percent of affected businesses never reopen. A continuity plan might not completely prevent you from joining those statistics, but not having one is almost a guarantee.

2. Not having a continuity plan in place can be extremely expensive. Without a proper cloud business assessment and plan, you have no choice but to wing it. If you do not have cloud-based backups and your office is destroyed, then you could easily lose most or all of your business’ vital data. Additionally, your customers may go elsewhere. You may even lose valued employees, especially if you are unable to cover paychecks during the downtime.

3. Untrained employees can make emergencies worse, instead of better. Your continuity plan should include training and drills on what to do in the event of the most likely emergencies. For example, if you are in Florida, hurricane preparedness is a primary goal. This can be as simple as remembering to do fire/evacuation drills at regular intervals.

4. Not having a plan can sometimes make a disaster more likely to happen. Disaster prevention is particularly important for one of the fastest growing problems faced by businesses of all sizes, that being cyber attacks and data breaches. It can also mean ensuring everyone follows best practices to avoid a fire. Cyber attacks caused 22 percent of data center outages in the latest study, a 20 percent increase since 2010. Practicing good cyber hygiene and encrypting your backups can prevent you from needing your continuity plan in the first place.

5. Having a continuity plan helps establish your brand. If you put your cyber protection plan in your privacy policy, for example, it will help customers trust that you will keep their personal information safe. This is particularly important if you are handling financial information. And, of course, being the first back on your feet after a regional disaster not only helps you make money at the time but improves your reputation in the long term. Think about the reputation Waffle House has, such that when they close FEMA uses it as part of their storm assessment. You might not be able to get to that point, but your customers seeing you as somebody who stays open no matter what can help you attract and retain customers.

6. A proper cloud-based plan can also reduce “casual” downtime. If you have redundancy in your IT, for example, then when one server crashes customers can still access another. With today’s short attention spans, customers are more likely than ever to go somewhere else if your website is not accessible or is glitching. It also frees up IT personnel to work on improvements and upgrades rather than spending a lot of time on restoring service.

If you have a small business, then you need a business continuity plan more than ever. The best way to start is with a cloud business assessment to help you work out what your company needs, specifically, from a continuity plan, especially in the IT area. If you are looking to create, or improve, your business continuity plan contact Otava today.

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