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Business Continuity for Manufacturers

For customers who operate in the manufacturing industry, business continuity is everything. These businesses are producing real, tangible products each day. Producing high volumes at a low cost is their ultimate goal, and a strong business continuity solution can ensure this goal is attainable. But what would happen if production came to a halt? Could they afford to turn down sales requests and pay for employees who are sitting around waiting for a solution? At what point would downtime cost them revenue?

For most manufacturers, that window of time is a short one. They need an MSP who can offer them a business continuity that not only supports their assembly line, but their bottom line as well.

Defining Downtime for Manufacturers

Like all businesses, manufacturers are faced with two very common threats – natural disasters and human error. Both largely contribute to the possibility of downtime at a manufacturing company, but these categories barely scratch the surface when it comes to the causes of downtime. Under the umbrella of Mother Nature lurk fires, floods, blizzards, earthquakes, etc.

Human error also takes on multiple forms as well. Be it purposeful or accidental, humans tend to be our own worst enemies. The many man-made threats can come from a number of various directions. People can largely contribute too:

  • Corrupt machines or data (ex. malware)
  • Power outages (ex. nearby vehicle accidents that damage power poles)
  • Network failure (ex. mismanagement of a network device)

According to a survey by Kaspersky Lab, manufacturers ranked “intellectual property” and “internal operational information” as data they most feared losing. This kind of data is highly sensitive for manufacturers. It’s the type of data that sets manufacturers apart from competitors in their day-to-day processes. The report went on to define malware, software vulnerabilities, network intrusions, and targeted attacks as the most common causes of this type of data loss.

So, as an MSP, how do you help your customers tackle these lurking threats? Partnering with a vendor who offers strong business continuity solutions is the first step.

Business Continuity Best Practices

Business continuity plans are unique to the companies they protect. To make the best decision regarding a solution, MSPs need to assess the current backup and disaster recovery procedures their customers have in place. They should define what works well, and what needs to be improved. Identify the technologies that are the most critical to a business and protect them with the best business continuity and disaster recovery solution on the market will result in a win for your client and for you as their IT hero.

The following are business continuity features to consider that can help your customers in the manufacturing vertical achieve zero downtime:  

  • Hybrid cloud backup solution (this will protect data no matter it lives; physical and virtual servers, SaaS data)
  • Solution that provides automated backups, software, and hardware updates
  • Quick restore times that meet customers’ unique uptime needs
  • A solution that successfully performs during a Disaster Recovery (DR) test

All of the above features will aid in protecting a customer’s’ critical data. Your clients have already taken the first step by considering an investment in business continuity. It signals an understanding of the need for strong IT and the value they place on their ability to maintain uptime. These are the customers you want to work with – it’s a win-win for you both. Above all, grasping an appreciation for your customers’ business model (in this case manufacturers) will help select the best possible solution for their unique needs.

If you’d like to share more insights with your manufacturing end users, check out this great free download: Manufacturer? Protect Your Company by Adding Business Continuity to the Assembly Line.

Rob Rae is VP of Business Development at Datto Inc. Read more Datto blogs here.  

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