IT networks are mission critical and support nearly every function of businesses today. Damage or disruption to the network can have an immediate and lasting impact on the business – from customer and employee communications to lost productivity and data.
CDW’s Business Continuity Straw Poll surveyed 200 IT managers at medium and large businesses to understand how network disruptions impacted their business and how they plan to avoid future problems through better business continuity and disaster planning (BC/DR).
To view an in-depth analysis of the Business Continuity Straw Poll, please complete the information form at the link below.
Most of the 200 IT professionals surveyed reported that their IT resources were adequately prepared to support their business operations against disruptions:
- However, every business surveyed experienced a significant disruption lasting more than four business hours
- Additionally, most felt a significant business impact as a result
Taking into account their recent network disruptions, IT professionals report that they are taking steps to improve their BC/DR capabilities, but one in five businesses are not planning any changes.
- Conduct a Business Impact Assessment: Work with leaders of each functional area to understand the prospective cost and repercussions of losing each category of data and application, and set priorities based on importance to operations
- Take Steps to Protect Mission Critical Data: Back up frequently, and consider upgrading to systems that reduce backup cycle times and reduce risk of loss
- Review Power Options: Add uninterruptible power supplies for critical servers, network connections and select computers, to keep essential functions running
- Create And Document A Disaster Preparedness Plan: Document configuration diagrams of hardware, software and network components to be used in recovery, including logistical details, travel requirements and activation/spending authority
- Leverage Mobility: Identify all positions critical to continuity of operations and ensure they are trained and equipped to telework, even if they do not telework on a regular basis
- Consider Telecommunications Alternatives: The plan should include redundant connections, to cover against spot outages, and alternatives (e.g., wireless or satellite phones, wireless data cards) for use during larger telecom outages. Secure adequate network bandwidth to support any increase in remote access during emergencies
- Test the Plans: Activate complete business continuity plans at least once every twelve months to ensure that personnel and network systems are prepared. Capture results and update plans based on identified challenges. Conduct power outage tests more than once a year to ensure that equipment is adequate and always ready