A business continuity plan enables an organization to respond to threats and disasters without crippling its core business operations. The goal is to assemble a set of policies, processes, and procedures that help you survive an emergency while incurring as little downtime as possible. As the numbers indicate, failure to prepare can be a costly endeavour.
“It” happens in IT, and most experts realize that the consequences of not being prepared are dire. The effects of downtime can be difficult to quantify by traditional means. That doesn’t make them any less damaging. In some cases, organizations often find themselves measuring downtime by individual factors as:
- Brand damage: Network outages and downtime can no longer be concealed behind closed doors. Between social media and all the digital channels, we have access to, word is bound to get out. Brand reputation might suffer a huge blemish as those affected share the news and negative press starts to brew.
- Loss of customer loyalty: All it takes is a single negative experience to make a loyal customer change their minds about you. Technically they aren’t getting their due in cost value if your website is always down or they lose access to the services you’re being paid for. Even the most loyal customer will lose a tiny bit of faith each time you’re unavailable.
- Loss of competitive edge: I’m not being overly dramatic when I say customers expect on-demand service. If you can’t deliver, a competitor surely will. The unavailability of vital services will send frustrated customers clicking and tapping their way to the next best service provider.
- Employee moral: Disasters take a toll on everyone, and employees are no exception. Some staff members are forced to work tirelessly to mitigate the crisis and get systems back online. In the meantime, high performing team members are forced on the side-lines and unable to contribute to production. In either case, employee morale can become a fragile thing during periods of downtime.