If the city where your business runs is hosting the Olympic Games or similar, then you’ll be facing a one-off exceptional event. As such, you may need to take exceptional measures in order to ensure business continuity. For events of this magnitude, organisers or municipal agencies often produce continuity guidelines to help avoid the worst and maintain business continuity. Difficulties for staff to get to work and for suppliers to deliver what your organisation needs, including repairs to any malfunctioning equipment, can mean that business continuity will be negatively affected, unless you organise systems for staff to work from home and stock up on essentials ahead of time.
However, other exceptional events that happen every year can also affect a business, especially an SMB. Vacation periods are an example – they are exceptional because employees still spend significantly more days at work than on holiday. According to a report from Iconnyx, a managed IT services/hosting provider, smaller businesses are more likely to suffer serious problems with web server availability and support when the holidays hit, and they often find out at the same time that they have no business continuity plan. All this, when customers now expect a company to be running “as usual”, whatever the time of year.
From an IT standpoint, the report suggests steps to address the issues. The first is to put in enough web servers with enough power ahead of time to handle possible dips in overall availability and performance. However, because the realisation that more power is needed may come too soon before the holiday break in order to buy and commission new machines, the back-up solution is to rent virtual machine power over the Internet. This is also the suggestion for business continuity if a company’s primary server installation goes down completely. In this case, active management by a third party on a 24 hour basis then ensures the switch is made immediately if circumstances require it.