Does your business need a disaster recovery plan?
The short answer? YES! Now for the long answer.
“One out of two of businesses never return to the marketplace following a major disaster. Of those that do, half go bankrupt within three years.” Source: Chubb Insurance
Does this worry you? It should. These companies couldn’t have had a proper “disaster recovery plan”. Such a plan helps you to put in place measures you need in order to stay operational in the event of a disaster. Disaster recovery focuses on the IT systems that support business functions, compared to “business continuity” which involves planning for keeping all aspects of a business functioning despite disruptive events.
Many parts of the USA, and a number of other countries, have recently experienced harsh weather conditions. Some of these involved a lot of rain and/or snow with driving winds. If your business premises became waterlogged, how would you manage to continue trading? What about your computer data or records – would they still be available in the event of a water-based disaster?
Preparing for potential future disasters need not be daunting. The first things to consider are the sorts of disasters you think might affect your business and its premises. Then you need to consider how you would overcome these disasters, and put in place some safeguards for your IT systems, to help mitigate the disasters.
If you are a small business, you might be located in a single office with a network server and several desktop PCs connected by a network. Part of your planning for disasters should be to ensure that the company data on the server and the desktop PCs is regularly backed up and that the backup media are kept safely stored outside of the office. If the building burns down, the backups physically located next to the server would be useless as they will be ruined. Fireproof safes are not infallible. If the backups are stored away from your normal place of work, it will help you to set up operations in a new location.
Some businesses buy stand-by equipment that can be rolled out if the main equipment gets damaged or destroyed in day-to-day use. Other businesses contract with specialist disaster recovery companies to supply replacement servers, etc., in the event of a disaster – with the replacement timetable being agreed before disaster strikes. What you choose to do depends upon the services available in your area, and whether or not you have the staff to cope with emergency server replacements.
Think about potential disasters before they occur and how to overcome them, and write up notes on the actions required to resolve these disasters – all of this helps you formulate your disaster recovery plan.
One final suggestion: do test any plan you come up with to ensure that it works. It could be fatal to your business to assume you are ready for a disaster, only to find out at the crunch time that you AREN’T as ready as you thought.
Hackworth offers a full array of IT solutions including back up & data recovery, remote network management, computer hardware support and much more. Contact us for a free IT consultation or for more information: 757-545-7675.