IT service continuity is one of the greatest strategic initiatives of an IT organization. The cost of acquiring IT services and taking measures to prevent downtimes is on the mind of every IT executive. In this article, we will discuss 4 best practices to optimize your IT service continuity strategy.

Automate Continuity Plans

It’s hard to understand why so many organizations continue to rely on manual processes for disaster recovery and restoring access to data and applications. In the past, unexpected natural disasters have exposed the failure of manual, human-centric recovery processes, even for companies that planned for recovery at remote data centers.

Most of those recovery plans relied on personnel reaching remote facilities to initiate disaster recovery. However, since unforeseen calamities prevent these personnel from reaching to these remote locations they can fail to begin the recovery processes. This is why automated failover, recovery needs to be a priority in your IT continuity plan.

Don’t Trust Virtualized Infrastructure Too Much

While virtualization is a key element of ensuring IT continuity, a successful IT service continuity plan addresses the reality of a mixed physical and infrastructure by adopting a synergistic and cohesive approach.

It’s true that virtual storage, servers, and desktops can help companies minimize service interruption, but even virtual machines are not immune to failure. This is why it’s necessary to ensure a backup strategy for virtual machines, especially if you’re increasingly relying on virtualization for critical applications.

Prioritize Critical IT Service Continuity Functions

Depending on your company’s size, industry, or IT service requirements, the cost of implementing a solid IT service continuity solution can easily get out of hand. This is why it’s essential for companies to perform an in-depth analysis of their critical business processes and prioritize which applications must be available immediately.

You can identify applications that can stay offline until the problem is dealt with. For instance, companies can prioritize their customer-facing applications such as e-commerce and customer service over marketing automation applications like the production of the company newsletter and email list management.

Moreover, companies need to plan for recovery time objectives and recovery points for every application. Functions such as order entry, fulfillment and applications related to compliance need to be prioritized, since even losing a single record may have severe implications.

Consider Disaster Recovery a Managed Service

It’s important to remember that software, security, infrastructure, customer support and all other managed services are key elements of a CTO’s portfolio. IT leaders need to choose managed service providers who have proven experience and expertise in each domain.

Likewise, the level of detail and priority should remain the am when you pick a partner for disaster recovery and IT service continuity. Although it’s true that almost every IT service partner can claim to recover from service interruptions, the method of recovery between providers can be considerably different.

There’s a huge difference between IT recovery providers giving you remote backup service compared to services that offer a combination of reliable infrastructure, multiplatform storage management, archiving and restoration, disaster recovery tools for backup, as well as proven expertise in failover to top it all.

Successful IT service continuity requires careful planning and proven expertise to prevent service interruptions and downtimes. However, by following IT service continuity best practices, you can lead your company to a comprehensive failover plan.