6 Ways an MSP Can Help Build Business Resilience (And Its Importance)
Natural calamities and cyber-attacks are inevitable disruptions your business is bound to face. The impact can vary. Depending on how prepared you are for disaster to strike, you could experience anything from short downtimes to financial ruin.
As a business owner, you are responsible for ensuring your company can withstand the toughest adversities. You must ensure that you have resilience or the ability to bounce back from any incident, regardless of nature.
For over 20 years as a managed IT service provider (MSP), we've helped businesses overcome many unforeseen challenges. Though it's not something owners often ask of us, we make sure to put importance on business continuity and resiliency, especially now when disasters can strike at any time and have devastating effects.
For expert insight on the subject, we spoke with Todd Whitley, a partner at ITS. He is an expert technology solutions consultant who regularly interacts with clients. He offers expert advice on managing operational and technological aspects of a business, which is a key component of business resilience.
In this article, we will discuss the following:
- Business continuity vs. business resilience
- Importance of business resilience
- How an MSP can help build resilience
As an MSP, we aim to make you realize why you need to build resilience and show you how we can help you achieve it.
Understanding Business Continuity vs. Business Resilience
Business continuity and resilience are commonly interchanged due partly to their similarities and overlap. Both are concerned with risk mitigation, incident response, and contingency planning, but the difference lies in their scope.
Resilience covers any type of disruption, while continuity is more specific to IT problems. In a sense, business continuity can be seen as a smaller aspect of business resilience. What this means is achieving continuity doesn’t equate to being resilient. If anything, it’s just one step along the process.
One principle applies to achieving both continuity and resiliency, which in Whitley’s words are, “You need to fully understand your business operations and make contingency plans so that when there is a disruption, you're able to pivot and activate your documented plan to ensure operations and continue to work.”
The Importance of Business Resilience
The importance of business resilience is better realized when you look at the frequency and effects of a business disruption.
A study by the International Data Corporation (IDC) reported that 93% of businesses experienced a data-related disruption in 2021, and 60% lost irrecoverable data. Note that this is just one statistic on a tech-related disruption. There are many other reasons your operations could halt, from natural disasters, supply chain issues, power outages, competitive disruptions, and even innovation.
What’s more worrying aside from the frequency at which disruptions could happen is their effects on a business, particularly on one that doesn’t have resiliency plans. A single disruption can cause:
- Costly downtime at an average cost of $9,000 per minute. Even if it costs you less, you’re still losing significant financial revenue.
- Productivity loss, which then results in poor performance and service. It’s also a waste of resources to have your team members doing nothing.
- Damage to reputation, a long-lasting effect that could be difficult to recover from.
- Loss of trust and loyalty from patrons, which again, would be hard to regain, especially if you’ve compromised their personal data.
- Overall loss in revenue, resulting from the previously listed effects.
- At worst, business closure.
You wouldn’t want to sit and wait to find out how your business will be affected by such events. And at this point, disruptions are to be expected and prepared for, hence the need for business resilience.
6 Ways an MSP Can Help Build Business Resilience
The path to building business resiliency is a resource-intensive process that requires a lot of documentation, planning, and cost. Yes, this is achievable on your own, but smaller businesses often have difficulty due to a lack of resources and time priorities. And even larger organizations struggle with lack of knowledge and expertise.
As such, it is recommended to partner with an MSP that can offer help in the following ways:
1. Identify and protect assets
Data, devices, and people – these are your greatest assets as a business. Compromising any one of these things can have dire consequences. In the face of disruption, they could be lost and irrecoverable, so it’s important to prioritize identification and protection. As a start, an MSP can ask to inventory your data, categorize it, and determine how to best keep it secure.
2. Access to the latest data and tech
In the modern business era, change is rapid and inevitable. Landscapes shift and evolve by the minute, making it a challenge to keep up to date with the latest innovations. You won't have to shoulder this responsibility if you have an expert team on your side. An MSP will share their expert knowledge on the best tech, strategies, and solutions to help your business build resilience.
3. Maintain operations
One of the main features of resiliency is maintaining operations in the face of any disruption. It is done through proper planning, implementation, and response. Your MSP can help you with all these processes and ensure critical business functions continue in the face of adversity.
4. Minimize risk and damage
Risk and damage mitigation are also among the main features of business resiliency. The risks are ever-present, but an MSP ensures your business is aware of all potential threats. They will also set up defenses to prevent you from falling victim to any kind of disruption.
However, there are times when you will have to deal with the consequences. After all, there is no foolproof defense plan. When the time comes that you fall victim to disasters or cybersecurity incidents, the best outcome is to come out with minimal damage to your business.
5. Cost efficiency
Creating business resiliency requires a lot of resources, from cost to workforce effort. Seeking guidance from an MSP can lighten the resource burden. MSP services can be an affordable solution handled by a team of industry experts at a lower overall cost. Depending on your business's wants and needs, you can opt for a full partnership or a co-managed IT setup.
6. Ensure relevance
A business resiliency plan must always be relevant and effective, and that is hard to maintain when shifts in the industry happen in the blink of an eye.
As Whitley said, “Technology changes; business challenges change. It’s not like you do it once and you’re done. The whole landscape changes constantly. It's a living document. Somebody needs to go back and review what was done, ‘Hey, it’s been a year. How does our plan need to change for the upcoming year?’”
That somebody could be your MSP.
Ready to Build Resilience with an MSP?
The advent of the digital world has made business resilience a must-have instead of a nice-to-have. These days, businesses should be able to respond and recover from any disaster that comes their way. Lack of such ability is guaranteed to lead them to ruin.
For most organizations, long-term business resilience relies upon integrating the latest tech and business models available. And who better to help your business with that process than a team of IT experts?
Intelligent Technical Solutions (ITS) is a managed IT service provider (MSP) offering enterprise-level IT solutions. We can help you achieve resiliency and continuity through our expert knowledge and support. You can start with a free network assessment to evaluate your IT and business posture or dive into a managed IT partnership by talking to one of our people.
You can also check out related content on business continuity and resiliency as you think over the next step:
- What is IT Resilience? (& 8 Easy Steps to Be IT Resilient)
- Disaster Recovery vs. Business Continuity vs. Incident Response Plans
- Why is Business Continuity Planning Important? (& What Tools Do You Need?)
- Creating an Incident Response Playbook [EBOOK]