Business edge: IT simply applied

February 5, 2012

Ray Smyth of Swindon-based The IPstore says, “Business Continuity is the result of properly planned, expertly executed IT… It is 100% proactive; the rest is just blind panic…”

For an organisation using Information Technology (IT) as a routine part of its day-to-day work, the most modest of problems can cause real frustration, quickly impeding business operations. For understandable reasons, Business Continuity (BC) is often overlooked, which is a mistake.

BC addresses itself to every aspect of an organisation and it is not limited to IT; it must be informed and appropriate. IT is both the subject of BC provision and a means to deliver it.

IT in Business Continuity planning

To start with, an understanding of the risks and events your business is exposed to, and its attitude to each one is vital. A professional services organisation may continue trading in the event of a catastrophic loss of its offices, providing its staff can access the firms’ data, as well as adequate Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services. Conversely, a manufacturing facility may not be so obviously resilient.

Technologies such as High Availability Computing, Virtualisation, and Cloud Computing, can deliver affordable BC services that were once the preserve of large Enterprises, to all organisations.

Continuity of IT

As IT plays a bigger role in commerce, it is important to make sure that it doesn’t adversely impact business operations, or create business failure. The considerations are specific to each organisation, but here are some universal considerations.

• Mobile computing. Ensure that mobile devices use known secure connections.

• Discontinue the use of passwords for system and data access.

• Establish low cost facilities, as contingency, to allow all staff to carry out their duties remotely in case of emergencies like volcanic ash, snow, flooding and the approaching Olympics.

• Prevent the loss of data, a large fine, damage to reputation, and loss of business by encrypting data.

• By managing and tracking computing devices, you can add extra safeguards, allowing data to be deleted from stolen and lost devices and enhance device recovery.

• Data backup is rarely taken seriously and there are services to augment the measures mentioned above, substantially improving continuity.

Every single IT related decision will have its impact on business continuity. It is only when defined business needs drive technology, that the IT dividend can be assured.

A longer version of this article is available at

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