Understanding your mistakes is a good way to prevent them from reoccurring. The flip side of that coin is that knowing the most common mistakes in your industry allows you to avoid them in the first place, being better prepared for potential crises.
In nearly every industry, IT poses some of the biggest potential risks in business continuity. According to Business 2 Community, many CIOs and enterprise decision makers have the mindset of "if it isn't broken, why fix it?" However, when it comes to continuity of operations planning, this is the mindset that causes someone to forget to backup a system or create a strategy for when it does break, which can lead to cascading failures across important workflow technologies.
Here are a few of the most common disaster recovery and business continuity-related IT mistakes many firms make:
Not backing up data – Data backups are an essential part of disaster recovery, and too many companies don't backup often enough or on a regular schedule. This creates choke points in recovery history and could result in essential data being lost forever, while also creating a potential security hazard. Backing up data is like having an insurance policy for one of your most important assets, and you should do it on a regular, frequent schedule – preferably automated to ensure it happens on time.
Over-extending life of technology – All technology has an end-of-service date and, in effect, an end of lifespan for the particular piece of hardware or software. However, many companies avoid replacing their systems when they are no longer supported due to the additional costs of migrating all of their supporting systems to new architecture or updating interconnected systems. The news source notes the recent cancelation of support of Windows XP by Microsoft – many firms had to scramble to upgrade to Windows 7 because they didn't anticipate the change and start updating their systems earlier.
Poor security practices – Not implementing a company-wide security policy for mobile or email is another flaw that many companies encounter. Too many professionals use basic, insecure passwords at work, or leave their passcode's written down so they don't need to memorize them. Businesses have to implement security as part of their continuity of operations plan in order to remove it as a potential threat to workflow.
Hiring business continuity consultants can help you learn about preventing or reducing other common continuity risks. The right assistance will allow you to optimize your business continuity plan and prevent a basic mistake from taking your company down.