The recent American Airlines’ network outage serves as an example of how many businesses have come to rely on complex systems and interconnected networks. The ability for IT professionals to establish a continuity plan that includes considerations for planning, resource allocation, implementation, and monitoring becomes critical. In order to keep the business operating at maximum efficiency, be sure your organization is focused on:
Risk Assessment: The first step is to assess the risks before a problem occurs. Understand how IT integrates with cross-functional departments as it relates to data, storage, security, etc.
Identify Dependencies: To be effective with the continuity plan, it’s essential to not only understand internal assets and business functions but also the dependencies affected. The strategies should address what technology channels are essential, which ones the business can do with, and for what duration of time.
Exposure: A solid continuity plan also accounts for critical areas such as employees, IT partners, process, systems, and data networks. With a comprehensive view of these areas, a business is able to identify possible weaknesses in the process or infrastructure.
Recovery: A continuity plan is only as effective as the IT professionals who execute against it. Proper preparation can reduce negative impact to the business. The network and IT procedures must be prepared in advance in order to effectively manage recovery times.
As more companies move to the cloud and systems become increasingly more complex, IT SMEs become a necessary role. Just remember, without a proper plan in place, the result can be devastating to the bottom line now and in the future. In the case of American Airlines, even the best continuity plans aren’t fail-safe but recovery was possible.