Can your business survive a disruption or crisis? Most companies believe they can–until one occurs. Don’t wait for a large or small disaster to occur to build your disaster recovery plan to ensure business continuity. Be prepared… Start today!
The definition of a disaster could vary greatly from business to business. The loss of data on a single PC could have a disastrous effect on your business if you are not prepared. Having a clearly documented and tested business continuance plan is just as important as having the right disaster recovery technology. It’s crucial to develop the plan in advance and review it with your employees.
Start by identifying business critical information and applications. Critical business information isn’t always electronic data, but quite often is. Critical business applications could include simply having Internet access in order to perform research or to access a cloud-based application or an externally-hosted solution.
Next, you should evaluate the impact of the loss of the data or applications on a temporary or for an extended period. At the same time, evaluate the likelihood of various types of “disaster” scenarios. The answers to these questions will help focus and drive your disaster recovery strategies as well as your budget.
Now that you’ve clearly determined what to protect, it’s time to evaluate your options to recover from a disaster, be it big or small. Some obvious questions include where is your critical data stored, how is it backed up, and is it available both on and offsite? There are a host of backup solutions to answer these questions. Don’t forget to include any special line-of-business applications that may not be readily available in the event of a disaster. Do you have the software safely stored both onsite and offsite with all the pertinent serial numbers and license keys to reload if necessary?
This next step requires some work almost everyone would prefer to avoid but it is critical to the success of disaster recovery planning-you need to develop a comprehensive written plan and communicate it with your staff. I’ll admit, I can think of more interesting things to write about, but documenting your recovery plan in advance will pay off when you’re under the real pressure of a disaster and need to have clear plans and steps to follow.
Finally, I strongly encourage you to periodically test your disaster recovery plan. One of IT Radix’s clients is located along the banks of the Raritan River in New Jersey. In the past 10 years, they have had to test their recovery plan for real–3 times in fact, as the river has overflowed the banks near their office. The company was unable to access their building and the power was shut down for safety reasons for a week or more. Could your business survive a “disaster” like this? Fortunately, our client was prepared and did survive, each time improving their plan and technology solutions to make it easier and faster to recover. it disaster recovery solutions