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How to Incorporate Big Data in Business Continuity Planning

How to Incorporate Big Data in Business Continuity Planning

While the use of the buzzword “big data” may have slowed, in practice big data continues to accelerate. Worldwide, organizations are investing in business analytics and intelligence on a large scale. There is a growing need to track massive stores of information and process them efficiently.

But big data can present issues where business continuity is concerned. When it comes to disaster recovery or organizational restoration, big data needs to be thoughtfully considered. Here are some elements you’ll want to account for.

Implementing Non-Traditional Backup Methods

The volume of a typical big data deployment can be overwhelming. For IT managers, traditional backup tools may not work in a big data environment. A large distributed store of data could break or render inefficient most customary backup tools. At best, these tools have a chance of working, but cannot be considered to be reliable. Instead, you’ll need backup solutions that are bigger and better. You may need to hire externally to implement a scalable backup solution that accommodates your data stores as they grow.

Training Your Personnel

You’ll need to bring your personnel up-to-speed when it comes to big data best practices. Big data ushers in a new set of requirements to be met with respect to security, project management, and process. You’ll need to loop in various parts of the business, from IT managers to business development executives and security personnel. You may choose to outsource part of your data management, storage, or protection functionalities. If so, your personnel will have to understand the handoff process between internal and external roles. Data doesn’t exist in a bubble - it’s up to your personnel to make the most of it. Your business continuity planning will depend on how well your organization understands the critical role of big data in both emergencies and non-emergencies.

Adhering to Good Data Hygiene

Accounting for a massive influx of data means practicing good data hygiene. You should map out where your data is stored, how it is accessed, who has access, and how it is used. Also, what role does cloud computing and Internet of Things devices play? If you’re already using these technologies, you’ll want to incorporate them into your business continuity planning. They will help you determine your analytical and processing capabilities.

A great way of testing your data hygiene is by trying to meet regulatory standards, such as the GDPR requirements. Conduct your own hygiene audits to determine whether you would meet basic regulatory rules.

Replicating Environments

If you have multiple geographical locations for data centers, you’ll want to make sure there’s a way to replicate events and analytics. If you need remote access for disaster recovery efforts, is the capability currently present? Multinational organizations may face regulatory concerns where data has to cross borders. Make sure that you don’t have to keep your data at one site which, in the event of inaccessibility, could derail your business continuity efforts.

Considering Disaster Recovery Without Big Data

Big data won’t necessarily solve a flawed business continuity plan. You must make sure that your business continuity plans have been optimized apart from an influx of big data. Do you have the right systems in place for crisis communication? Have you designated the proper personnel in the event of a disaster? Have you run drills and thought about external stakeholders? You should plan to analyze your processes as they stand alone before you implement a large analytics effort. Your legacy business continuity practices are important, especially where they can be enhanced by the proper use of big data.

Business continuity and disaster recovery have made great strides thanks to big data. But given the opportunity to wield large stores of information, you should make sure you’re taking necessary precautions. When used correctly, big data and the cloud can protect and restore your systems in the face of an emergency.

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