Admiral PR

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Businesses must prepare for flooding

After the chaos caused by flash flooding in the North East last week, businesses need to consider whether they have adequate business continuity plans in place.

The result of the bad weather is estimated to cost the region more than £50m and the repercussions of the flooding has severely affected and interrupted many businesses with power failures, loss of data and absent staff. Clean-up operations are now taking place and expected to continue for some time to come.

It is at times like these that highlight the importance for companies to have robust protocols in place to ensure business continuity in times of crisis. This means that while businesses may not be able to predict crises, they will have the reassurance of a continuity plan that will ensure that trading can continue even if their premises are temporarily unusable or their IT systems become damaged and they need to switch to alternative methods.

Commenting on the impact to local businesses, Neil Stephenson, CEO of Onyx Group, a specialist provider of business continuity services, said:

“Business continuity is about making sure that, no matter what happens, a business can carry on as usual. As the recent flooding has demonstrated in areas such as Walkergate and Heworth roundabout, companies in less resilient sites need to consider staff relocation, how they would cope if their current premises were temporarily unavailable and, for example, the possibility of a server being flooded, resulting in a loss of all a company’s data.”

“We recommend a series of steps for creating a resilient business continuity plan. The first step is understanding the nature of the risk. Carry out a risk assessment to identify critical areas which would cause the most damage to finances and reputation.

“Calculate downtime costs, determine what your most critical systems are, test critical restores, ensure staff have the relevant knowledge, lookout for design weaknesses in your infrastructure as you amend systems and keep your IT documentation up-to-date.”

Stephenson suggests that companies should plan ahead and limit employee downtime by investing in a workplace recovery site, where staff can be immediately relocated in the event of an emergency.

“To ensure that your business will keep running through a natural disaster, invest in a workplace recovery model. This will back up all of your data off-site in various data centres that can be accessible nationwide, and will also provide an alternative, fully equipped workplace for staff when they can’t access the normal place of work.

Business continuity providers like Onyx Group, offer a variety of data security and workplace recovery options catering to businesses of all sizes. Also, by having a company like Onyx host data offsite in one of its six data centres means that no matter what, the businesses data is safe and can be accessed at any point, reducing downtime.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Admiral PR .

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