Business continuity planning is becoming an increasingly high priority for many companies, and with good reason. Identifying your organisations exposure to risk and putting methods in place to effectively respond to those threats will protect the interests of your business in the event of a data breach, natural disaster or criminal attack that could leave your company vulnerable to downtime, loss of earnings and even closure.

According to the Contingency Planning Research and Strategic Research Corporation, 43% of companies experiencing disasters never re?open, and 29% close within two years. So ensuring that your critical data and applications are available in any scenario must be central to your business continuity plan.

With a cloud solution, whether it be private cloud through your managed service provider or via the likes of Microsoft Office 365, what you get is a high availability, on-demand, reliable solution with a fast recovery time and seamless transition if disaster occurs.

So if you fall foul to an incident that renders your premises out of action such as flood, fire, theft, vandalism, or even a data loss or hardware failure, then your employees and your business can continue to operate without a drop in productivity or a loss of earnings. Simply pick up, move on and continue working – from home, from emergency premises, from the local coffee shop – anywhere with an internet connection. As far as the customer is concerned, it’s business as usual.

Cloud can of course be used purely for business continuity reasons. So, backup to the cloud yet continue to work from a traditional on premise solution. This hybrid approach is a popular one, but if employees are used to the cloud and the flexible approach to their working day then if things go wrong and it’s necessary to move operations to an alternative location, it’s business as usual for them too.

From a business continuity point of view, this is imperative. If the worse happens, it could save your bacon. But what about your telecoms? A crucial element of your business comms system. If it’s necessary for you to move your organisation to different premises, what happens to your incoming phone calls?

Well this is where VoIP comes in. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol technology) is essentially cloud computing for your telephony. Your phone system is hosted in the cloud, managed by your IT provider and you make all of your calls over the Internet on your main business number, from anywhere with an Internet connection.

Call handling remains the same as it would with a traditional telephony solution with full switchboard capability providing transfer, conferencing and on hold features as standard. Calls coming into your main business number will come into you wherever you are logged in and everybody keeps the same internal extension number regardless of where they are situated. All you need is your computer and your telephone headset. So what VoIP provides is a flexible, high availability alternative to your telephony that completes your cloud-based business continuity with ultimate reliability.

So cloud computing can be your business continuity plan. It unifies communications for effective working, increased productivity and provides a solid foundation for growth while seamless continuation of service gives your business security and you peace of mind.