Key Lessons Learned From Hurricane Sandy
Most IT consultants and providers want to believe they have disaster recovery and business continuity all figured out. They set up back-ups and assume that no matter how terrible the disaster, they’ll be able to bounce back immediately. However, the cybersecurity veterans at Brainlink International are urging CFOs and COOs to redefine their concept of business continuity. The presumption that “everything will just work” can lead to dangerous and potentially devastating oversights.
Brainlink International has a simple challenge for enterprises and businesses of all shapes and sizes: perform a power-off test. Don’t just haphazardly start pulling plugs, but set a date and time where all components of the business network can be powered down. Then, power things up according to plan and see where the system stands. What fails? What vendors need to be contacted to resolve issues? Are there security or disaster recovery gaps that need to be filled? Most businesses forget that disaster recovery isn’t just about implementing recovery strategies – it’s about testing their efficiency and reliability to ensure business continuity.
The team at Brainlink International wants to make one thing very clear: business continuity is disaster recovery’s older, more mature brother. A comprehensive business continuity plan is what allows business leaders to take control of a disaster and recover swiftly and properly. Additionally, business continuity strategies help prepare business leadership teams not only for disasters but for a variety of other potentially impactful occurrences that are rarely considered.
Forget What You Thought You Knew About Disaster Recovery – Consider More Than Just Disasters
Consider this – as technology continues to become the centralizing feature of the modern business environment, there are more and more ways for a business to be impacted by technology failure. It’s not just cyber-attacks, natural disasters or unexpected power outages that enterprises need to prepare for. Things like seasonal building maintenance on elevators or communication systems aren’t disasters at all – in fact, they’re good and necessary. However, that doesn’t mean business won’t be impacted by even these minor and inconvenient necessities.
Furthermore, when it comes to business continuity, there must be a consideration made not only for the technology involved – but also for the people involved. A manager quits abruptly. A key employee has a heart attack. Ensuring that the remaining team members know how to restore operations as quickly as possible is a critical component of business continuity that many fail to consider ahead of time. Brainlink International knows that business continuity must be redefined as preparing for disruptions of any kind, not just disasters.
Why “Quick & Easy” Doesn’t Jive with Business Continuity Planning
Thanks to their experience working with enterprises of all kinds, Brainlink International quickly identified the need for a more comprehensive and proactive approach to business continuity, and in turn, disaster recovery. That’s why their team of experts spent over a year – close to 400 hours, working with several vendors – developing disaster recovery and business continuity strategies designed specifically to broaden proactivity, organization, and reliability.
Though getting these protocols up and running was a lengthy and expensive engagement, Brainlink International has now been relying on these SOPs without fail for three years. However, the desire for continual optimization and improvement is what defines the Brainlink approach. Their team works constantly to modify and develop these protocols as new and improved technology becomes available. By this time next year, Brainlink plans to have these protocols completely rewritten from the ground up based on new tech capabilities and advantages.
What truly sets Brainlink International apart from their peers is their commitment to providing semi-annual disaster recovery testing for all of their clients. Though it’s labor-intensive and expensive, Brainlink International knows it’s a fundamental part of providing a premium, enterprise-level managed IT experience. Disaster recovery testing is included in the managed service contract for all Brainlink International clients, meaning it comes at no additional cost. After all, it’s the most critical part of ensuring disaster recovery strategies will play out the way management teams imagine.
Regular Disaster Recovery Testing with Brainlink International seeks to:
- Test and keep recovery procedures current with each client environment,
- Keep the recovery team up to date with client environments and procedures,
- Provide a steady stream of process improvements to enhance recovery time, and
- Test the actual backup and recovery processes so that in the case of an actual emergency, recovery is fast and efficient.
While many professionals make the mistake of thinking this level of proactivity is unnecessary or tedious, there is simply no denying its long-term benefit. As the old adage goes, ‘the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat.’
The Outcome? A Proactive and Reliable Team That Provides Unparalleled Peace of Mind
Developing a premium and consistently reliable business continuity platform has been beneficial for Brainlink team members and clients alike. Clients can rest assured that their IT team is taking every measure possible to ensure systems are always ready to bounce back from disruptions. Additionally, Brainlink team members get the opportunity to broaden their understanding of each client’s system and disaster recovery plan.
“Our disaster recovery testing protocols are designed specifically so that any member of our team can help execute the test for any client,” says Brainlink Systems Administrator, Anthony Vinciguerra. “This process is great because it allows our training to be reinforced in a variety of dynamic environments.”
“Participating in regular disaster recovery testing also improves our understanding of each client’s system, its complexities, and quirks,” adds Brainlink Senior Systems Administrator, Shival Agarwal. “It improves our understanding of our own backup and recovery tools and the continual practice makes each one of us more confident and useful in the case of an actual disaster recovery situation.”
The implementation of business continuity and disaster recovery test protocols allows the entire Brainlink team to:
- Practice project management,
- Practice documentation building,
- Gain new troubleshooting skills, and
- Strengthen vendor relationships in a controlled environment.
“For Brainlink, disaster recovery testing is a truly valued feather in our cap,” continues Agarwal. “Most IT firms of our size simply aren’t doing this for their clients or it’s offered as an infrequent and expensive add-on. At Brainlink, it’s simply a core part of providing a premium IT experience to every client.”
The benefits to Brainlink International clients are even more extensive. First and foremost, clients are provided with the proactive strategy necessary to keep their concerns at bay. They know that when disaster strikes, there is a detailed, tried and tested plan to get business back in action. Additionally, for our clients in regulated industries (Wealth Management, Family Office, Construction, Manufacturing, etc.), Brainlink’s business continuity protocol and commitment to disaster recovery testing help make compliance a breeze.
Finally, disaster recovery testing with Brainlink allows clients to identify deficiencies in their systems and determine other tech services or resources they may need to implement. This is an integral part of helping Brainlink clients make informed decisions about their tech strategy based on hard evidence from disaster recovery tests.
“Every client we work with breathes a huge sigh of relief when their disaster recovery test proves that their business continuity plan is successful,” says Agarwal. “And if we do run into any problems, we work alongside clients and vendors to implement a reliable solution. Most of all, clients are thankful we helped identify potential catastrophes before they actually happened.”
If you’d like more information about how your enterprise can proactively redefine its approach to disaster recovery and business continuity, get in touch with Raj Goel and the team of experts from Brainlink International right away at (917) 685-7731 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.