Yet having such a plan remains unfinished business for many companies, perhaps due in part to the challenges of distinguishing the differences between business continuity and disaster recovery. It is equally important for an organization to devise both of these plans in conjunction as each, on its own, will not be able to provide the level of preparedness and protection today's businesses demand to remain up and running under any conditions.
Major disasters such as hurricanes, fires, terrorist attacks, earthquakes and tsunamis are not the only kinds of disasters that can cripple an organization. Most organizations cite downtime and its impact on revenue generation as the major drivers creating demand for a comprehensive business continuity strategy. While any interruption to revenue generation undeniably plays a major role in the need for business continuity, it is not the only factor that should be considered when analyzing the optimal business continuity approach. Arguably, the most important aspect in preparing any business continuity plan is validating the combined technology and business processes to ensure they work together seamlessly.
It is important to measure and validate test results relative to the plan's original goals and priorities. Organizations that are the most successful take time to quantify their requirements and continuously measure results against specified goals. If weaknesses are exposed after testing and evaluation, it is imperative that the testers react quickly to implement necessary changes in prioritized fashion, through taking careful, calculated steps that consider both technology requirements and business needs. Business continuity and disaster recovery should be thought of not as a task to be completed but as a living and breathing exercise.

As the senior vice president of corporate development and strategy, Ken Horner is responsible for the worldwide roll out of BakBone's overall strategy and business development activities that will drive future growth for the Company, and the direct sales development, channel management activities and revenue growth in the North and South America regions. Therefore, it is imperative for organizations to not only have a disaster recovery plan in place for the aftermath, but to also implement a business continuity strategy to aid in the complete avoidance of these IT dangers all together.
While disaster recovery primarily involves protecting IT infrastructure and data from disabling events after an equipment or site failure, business continuity targets a more comprehensive, business-focused approach for maintaining the availability of mission-critical applications and data in the face of any type of disruption. Executives sometimes overlook the often commonplace events such as cable cuts, power outages, computer viruses and equipment failures that can endanger a company's business survival. Among the most tangible consequences of service downtime, besides the adverse effect on revenues, is the derailment of everyday business systems that help organizations operate productively.
There are a variety of intangible costs that indirectly impact the bottom line, which all accelerate the growing demand for greater business resiliency. The Business Continuity Institute suggests business continuity plans be tested fully at least once a year, yet research from Infoconomy revealed only one-third of companies surveyed do so. For any exercise to be worthwhile requires dedication, unwavering consistency and constant repetition. With 20 years of storage, networking, and enterprise software management experience, Ken spent six months as a corporate development consultant to BakBone before joining the Company in September 2005. Therefore, a successful business continuity plan delivers more than the ability to restore or recover data; it improves the company's financial performance by ensuring sustained workforce productivity and revenue generation.

To improve these odds, organizations should implement a "closed loop" process for deploying and maintaining their business continuity strategies. Then test and test again with continuous reviews and enhancements as the organization grows or changes. To create and maintain a business continuity plan that is a corporate must that necessitates a serious commitment of time and resources, making sure all systems and process analyses are performed and then remaining dedicated to supporting all the steps all along the way. Prior to BakBone, Ken was vice president of worldwide marketing and channel operations at DataCore Software. This realization shows the high degree of direct impact that not having a business continuity strategy can have on a company's bottom line. Pay particular attention to fluctuating business conditions as well as the addition of new technologies and applications. In this capacity, Ken spent four years successfully leading corporate partnering, worldwide market and multi-tiered channel definition, technology acquisition and strategic alliance efforts on a global basis.
As part of Seagate Software's executive management team, Ken was instrumental in building and managing the Storage Management Group, including the development of the Backup Exec product line, from its inception (as Arcada Software) through its sale to VERITAS.

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