Business continuity is critically important for most organizations. Disruptions to operations can threaten a company’s existence. There are different approaches to providing a backup location if a primary site is down. Since COVID, the use of shared seats at a business continuity alternate site has declined as clients have become comfortable working from home and from other remote sites.

For organizations that require a robust business continuity solution, an alternate recovery site with dedicated seats remains a compelling option. A dedicated recovery site typically requires a bigger investment than other business continuity options such as a shared seat alternative or a work from home solution. For those seeking to minimize the risk of an interruption to key business operations or for organizations with stringent compliance requirements, the additional expense is justifiable.

Regulatory Compliance Drives Dedicated Recovery Sites

Regulatory compliance is often the impetus for a dedicated recovery site. Connecticut is home to banks and registered investment advisors. Frequently these financial institutions must comply with rules such as FINRA 4370 and the National Futures Association Rule 2-38. These rules stipulate that financial organizations must ensure clients can access information about their accounts and execute transactions even when disruptions impact an organization’s primary office.

“Warm sites” are set up at data centers in space that is reserved for the organization’s personnel. Clients furnish these dedicated sites with the IT systems and office furnishings they need so operations can resume as soon as possible after a disruption to the primary office. Once current data is on the systems at the alternate site, all essential functions can resume.

Factors to Consider For Dedicated Seats

Here are the factors to consider when evaluating a business continuity dedicated recovery site.

Location– Location is always one of the key factors when deciding where to set up IT operations whether it be for offsite data backup, colocation, or business continuity. In the case of a dedicated business continuity alternate site, the location should be within an hour or two of the primary facility so key personnel can get to the site quickly. However, the location should be far enough away so the disaster that disrupted operations is not likely to affect operations at the backup site.

Data Center Functions– A warm disaster recovery site needs to be online quickly. IT systems required to support operations need to be accessible as needed. A high availability data center with reliable power and Internet connectivity is a prerequisite at a dedicated seat facility.

Round-the-Clock Accessibility– The backup facility must be available for use at any time.

Security– Adequate security must be in place to protect critical operations.

Compliance– The disaster recovery site must meet industry accepted standards such SOC, PCI-DSS, HIPAA.

Public Transportation– Alternate worksites that are readily accessible via public transportation make it easier for staff to get there.

Hotels– Business continuity sites should be located near hotels. Recovery from disasters can take days or even weeks. It may be necessary for key personnel to stay near the dedicated facility for an extended period.

Conference Rooms– Alternate work facilities should have conference rooms and other office amenities to support clients when they are on site.

CAPS is one of the most experienced providers of business continuity alternate work sites in Connecticut. Our shared and dedicated seat services have been helping clients minimize risk and achieve compliance since 1995.