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Business Continuity: Surviving First Contact

In 1871, Field Marshal Helmuth Karl Bernhard von Moltke (‘Yes Sir!’ to his friends) wrote the following:

No plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force

It is more often requoted as “No plan survives first contact with the enemy”.  So, in the context of Business Continuity Planning, who is ‘the enemy’?  It can be very easy, when considering this question, to get stuck in the detail: flood, fire, power cuts, ransomeware.  In reality, you only need to plan for two scenarios…

From past experience, I recall that the Greater Manchester Police Force define a disaster as simply one of two things (or maybe both if you’re unlucky): a Loss of Service or a Loss of Access.  You’ve either lost your IT stuff, or you can’t get to it.  In either scenario, it is vital that you have a proven continuity plan in place.  Did you notice I used the word ‘proven’?  That’s the import bit.

In the context of Field Marshal Moltke’s statement: wouldn’t it be great if you good ‘simulate’ first contact with the enemy?  To test your Business Continuity Plan in anger, before it becomes a real, business-threating event?  That’s what we do for our clients (or at least for those that haven’t yet move their IT infrastructure to the Cloud): and we don’t just do it once a year; instead, we test that their entire server infrastructure has successfully replicated to the Cloud once an hour.  We also perform a full, regular, simulated recovery in the Cloud to prove that they can continue to function after contact with the enemy.

Importantly, our Business Continuity solutions address both of Greater Manchester Police’s disaster scenarios:

Loss of Service: We can recover clients’ server infrastructures within 1 hour, to a point of time not more than one hour prior to the disaster

Loss of Access: As well as on-premises recovery, we can recover their infrastructures in the Cloud, allowing access to their IT services from any location

In today’s fast-changing IT world, the nature and number of ‘enemies’ is increasingly difficult to keep track of.  By focusing on the two areas of Loss of Service and Loss of Access, we can help you to be ready for the day when first-contact comes.

Paul