BakBone Software, a global provider of heterogeneous integrated data protection solutions, reveals the top 10 steps companies should follow when safeguarding critical business operations in the event of a disaster. The checklist has been designed as a guideline for streamlining the development of a comprehensive plan to maintain the availability of key applications and business functions, minimize the risk of data or productivity losses, and reduce the negative impact on financial performance due to any kind of disruption.

According to Gartner Inc., 40 percent of companies that experience a significant interruption in operations go out of business within two years of the event. However, having an appropriate business continuity plan will help lessen the impact of these events and accelerate business resumption. "Simply looking at the news headlines on any given day is a reminder of why companies need to put the necessary steps in place to ensure business continuity," said Ken Horner, senior vice president of corporate strategy and development for BakBone. "BakBone's ten-step guide cuts through the confusion on how to implement a business continuity strategy by blending technology and business best practices to help companies individually tailor and successfully implement plans to protect their businesses."

Ten Steps to Business Continuity

To assist companies in planning and executing successful business continuity strategies, BakBone recommends the following steps:

  • Step 1 - Define strategy objectives by performing needs analyses and create a framework for strategy implementation;
  • Step 2 - Determine the business value of the organization's applications and define recovery objectives through data risk and recovery time profiles;
  • Step 3 - Match technologies for safeguarding data, including backup, disaster recovery, vaulting, snapshot and replication, based on business value;
  • Step 4 - Define infrastructure and personnel plans, including organizational and communications processes;
  • Step 5 - Implement technologies and educate critical personnel as to which business processes are impacted;
  • Step 6 - Test the documented plan continuously and under different circumstances;
  • Step 7 - Measure and validate test results relative to the plan's overall objectives;
  • Step 8 - Implement required enhancements that have been prioritized as a result of continuous testing and evaluation;
  • Step 9 - Continuously review and enhance the business continuity plan to reflect organizational changes, fluctuating business conditions and the addition of new technologies; and
  • Step 10 - Repeat the entire process continuously.

Following these critical steps will help organizations become better prepared for any type of disruption to their operations. For more detailed guidelines on the different factors to consider before implementing a business continuity strategy, visit for an informative whitepaper on this topic.

The key to implementing a business continuity strategy is keeping it simple yet including methodical processes, including careful analysis, planning, training and testing. Equally important is easing the implementation of different data protection solutions - backup and recovery, replication, vaulting and snapshot - to ensure they work together seamlessly and across different computing platforms, including Windows, Linux and UNIX. "It's important to recognize that not all applications are of equal value to the organization," notes Arun Taneja, founder and consulting analyst of the Taneja Group. "The goal is to take measured steps that balance technology requirements with business needs to lower risks, reduce complexities and keep operations up and running in the event of a failure."

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