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Building a business continuity plan is crucial to any SaaS company’s success. Without a disaster recovery plan, your company is more vulnerable to unexpected events, which risks its survival. It’s also essential to have this plan to ensure your customers’ data and experiences are safe, even if your company faces an unexpected outage or shutdown.
In fact, according to an IBM report, the average cost of a data breach is USD$4.35 million, which is a staggering amount of money for a SaaS business. That’s why some companies are taking proactive measures to improve their security, including hiring managed IT services like https://www.c9s.ca/vancouver/managed-it-services.
With that in mind, read further for tips on developing a SaaS business continuity plan.
1. Determine The Risks
When building a business continuity plan for SaaS, you must first identify the threats. If you don’t understand what can go wrong, it’ll be more challenging to prevent or address those problems when they arise.
Notably, the first threat to consider is data loss. If a server crashes and your backups get deleted, you’ll lose all the work stored on it. This event can be devastating for any company, especially for software companies that have invested so much time in building their products.
Another threat to keep in mind is unplanned downtime. Customers will leave in droves if your servers are down for more than a few minutes. And they won’t return until they’re sure everything’s working again. This event can cost serious money when losing customers’ trust in your service.
Furthermore, it’s best to consider the possibility of hackers so you should keep your business data secure. Hackers could steal your customers’ personal information. They can also steal sensitive information from you, such as passwords or log in credentials—which could get passed around to other people and cause trouble for your company.
2. Identify Critical Systems
Once you thoroughly understand your SaaS company’s risks, the next step is to identify critical systems. These are the systems that you need to be able to continue operating if there’s an interruption. Since disruption can happen at any time, it’s crucial to plan how to deal with it. Several different types of systems could be considered critical for a SaaS company. The most common are web applications and database servers.
Web applications typically operate on web servers and can be accessed by users through their browsers or mobile device. Meanwhile, database servers store data, such as customer information, which is used by all other applications within an organization.
In essence, listing your SaaS company’s critical systems will help you prioritize them for protection and recovery in a disaster. Doing so will also help determine how much money you’ll need to spend and the resources you must have at your disposal.
3. Formulate A Response Strategy
A business continuity plan for your SaaS company should focus on ensuring that your company can operate during a disaster like downtime or data loss.
That said, it’s essential to include a section in the plan on how you’ll respond to customer requests for assistance during downtime. As a SaaS company, you may already have systems that allow customers to contact support with questions or problems. However, you should also consider how you’ll respond if customers need help with their accounts or billing.
When responding to a data loss, it’s essential to provide customers with answers as quickly as possible. You may consider sending out an email or post on social media to let them know there has been a data breach and what steps they should take to protect themselves from possible security threats. This strategy will help your customers feel supported and more likely to stick around after the crisis has passed.
4. Create A Recovery Strategy
To move forward, you must focus on recovery after a disaster or an unplanned incident. Hence, it’s crucial to include a recovery strategy in your SaaS company’s business continuity plan.
That said, the first step is to evaluate what happened in the event of an incident. Know if there are any external factors or causes that contributed to the failure. For instance, if a hacker could gain access to your server and cause it to crash, you’ll need to determine if they could do so by using the same method they used against other companies in your industry.
If that’s the case, you may have more work ahead than just restoring from backups. Notably, you may need to identify what went wrong with your system and figure out how to prevent it from happening again.
Once you have determined what happened and taken corrective action, you can prepare for recovery. This step involves ensuring that your systems are ready for use when customers or clients need them again.
Business continuity planning should be a priority for any SaaS business that stores all its data online and operates across multiple websites. Since SaaS businesses are particularly vulnerable to data breaches, your company can benefit immensely from the tips above.