OVERLAND PARK, KS–(Marketwired – May 29, 2015) – On Mother’s Day (May 10), the U.S. experienced deadly tornadoes in parts of Texas and Arkansas, a tropical storm off the Carolina Coast that brought flooding and wind damage, and a blizzard in western South Dakota that shut down travel.
The day of severe weather served as a reminder that natural disasters can occur anytime and almost anywhere in the U.S. And they can seriously disrupt the normal course of business.
Companies that have adequately planned for business disruptions are thankful for that effort when disasters occur. For example:
- ACE IT Solutions was in the path of Super Storm Sandy in 2012. The day after the storm, ACE IT Solutions migrated one of its hedge fund clients into the cloud of its backup data provider, allowing the client to access their data.
- Johnson Rice & Company, an investment banker based in New Orleans, was forced to evacuate its headquarters during Hurricane Gustav in 2008. The company’s traders, however, were working by the time the market opened the next day from a temporary office the company set up. Johnson Rice also made sure personnel had complete access to IT data through the cloud.
- IT isn’t the only concern with disaster recovery. Goldman Sachs was one of the few offices in downtown Manhattan that remained dry and with power immediately following Super Storm Sandy because of its investment in sandbags and backup generators.
There are countless other success stories of companies and organizations continuing their operations following a natural disaster. But there are just as many instances of firms being unable to recover because of improper planning. The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety estimated that 25 percent of companies are unable to resume operations after a major disaster.
According to ready.gov, there are five steps to preparing your business to survive a natural disaster:
- Program management
- Organize, develop and administer your preparedness program
- Identify regulations that establish minimum requirements
- Gather information about hazards and assess risks
- Conduct a business impact analysis (BIA)
- Examine ways to prevent hazards and reduce risks
- Write a preparedness plan addressing resource management, emergency response, crisis communications, business continuity, information technology, employee assistance, incident management and training
- Define different types of exercises
- Use exercise results to evaluate effectiveness
- Identify when the preparedness program needs to be reviewed
- Use the review to make necessary changes and plan improvements
Step #4 is too often overlooked. A survey by the Business Continuity Institute showed less than 50 percent of companies test their disaster recovery solution more than once a year. Furthermore, only 4 percent carry out full end-to-end tests (which includes bringing up recovered system as you would in a disaster situation) at least quarterly.
Business continuity management and planning and disaster recovery are arduous tasks when performed using manual processes and ill-equipped software. LockPath’s Keylight platform, on the other hand, enhances an organization’s ability to devise, test and initiate business continuity and recovery plans.
Keylight makes it easy to tie risks to key assets and to a business continuity plan. This allows you to test business continuity and disaster plans with tabletop exercises to determine likely outcomes, then revise plans to optimize results. Keylight also interconnects your plans with your overall risk process, so you can perform business impact analysis and easily visualize key performance and risk indicators. The application also identifies regulatory requirements that may fall into non-compliance if critical business processes are not effectively recovered following a crisis.
How quickly a company returns to normal operations and serves its customers after a disaster can help determine its future success. Adequate preparation before disaster hits is the key to surviving and thriving once the damage has been done.
LockPath is a market leader in corporate governance, risk management, regulatory compliance (GRC) and information security (InfoSec) software. The company’s flexible, scalable and fully integrated suite of applications is used by organizations to automate business processes, reduce enterprise risk and demonstrate regulatory compliance to achieve audit-ready status. LockPath serves a client base of global organizations ranging from small and midsize companies to Fortune 10 enterprises in more than 15 industries. The company is headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas.
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