With Business Continuity Week starting today, we urge firms to take the opportunity to review and test their business continuity plans – there really is no time like the present. Too many firms fail to consider the what if until it’s too late, but it really doesn’t need to be like that.
Firms need to think about and plan for:
- Testing for ‘worst case scenario’
An annual, all server shut down, should be the minimum test you undertake, and there is no time like the present. Your clients, panel referrers, quality standards, or management team may require it to be more often. A half-hearted test will not satisfy the above and it should not satisfy the business – always test for the worst case scenario.
- Including a representative test group
Junior and senior staff should be included in testing the firm’s resilience to disruption, and how quickly they can return to fee earning work. Run the test during a time when it is least disruptive, such as an evening or at the weekend, but ensure the test is realistic to build confidence in your business and in your staff.
- Measuring how quickly law firms return to ‘business as usual’ – and adapt if necessary
Test how well you meet your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) – the amount of time lost that your business can potentially sustain. If you fail to meet your RTO, look at ways to reduce it and test and test again. When disaster strikes, being able to easily open and find crucial documents can make the difference between a few hours in lost fees or days, as well as keeping reputations intact.
Here’s what one of our clients, Michael Lennon, IT Director at O’Neill Patient says about the benefits of robust business continuity planning:
“Our ability to provide service, under any circumstances, is of great importance to us and our clients. In an era of increased data and connectivity, secure business continuity planning has never been more important.
Working alongside ConvergeTS, we developed a business continuity and disaster recovery solution that ensures we will be up and running quickly should disaster strike. Knowing that our data is stored in a secure location, and systems available to us quickly, is a big weight off our minds.”
The Business Continuity Institute’s Business Continuity Week runs from 16-20 March, and is on the theme of: The importance of testing and exercising Business Continuity Plans http://www.thebci.org/index.php/upcomingevents/bcaw-2015