Even as I’m typing this (Sunday evening) the damage in the more southern states (Carolina’s etc) and the flooding in more northern states (such as NJ, NYC and other areas) will be headlines for at least the next several days.
Although hurricane Irene is clearly a major personal inconvenience at best and taker of life (at worse), business must go on.
There’s two ways that every business should be prepared for Irene and every other natural or man made disaster that’s coming and in a way “laugh at these storms” – if you’re family and professional colleagues are safe.
1. As I’ve written over and over and over and over again, ENSURE your data is backed up. In the event of a disaster on your primary business, you want to ensure that your data can be recovered quickly, fully and as easy as possible.
- Don’t wait until it’s too late: Start mapping out a disaster preparedness plan today. The plan should identify your critical resources.
- Protect information completely: Use appropriate security and backup solutions to archive important files. The cloud brings new options for SMBs who need a simple, affordable, secure way to backup and restore their critical data and systems.
- Get employees involved: Educate employees on computer security best practices and what to do if they misplace information.
- Test frequently: Regular disaster recovery testing is invaluable and should be done anytime anything changes in your environment.
- Review your plan: You should review your disaster preparedness plan at least once a quarter.
Backup means that if ALL YOUR COMPUTERS AND SERVERS are completely destroyed, you can still retrieve your business data (user files, programs and operating systems) as they were before the disaster. This means backing up your information but also taking a full IMAGE of user and server hard drives. Talk to a local consultant about how to do this.
The second part of your disaster planning is to ensure that you have remote access to your entire business. One of the best ways to do this is to ensure that you are using cloud and managed services for everything. You should not be managing your phone system, but it should be managed by a managed phone services vendor such as Alteva, Ring Central, 8X8, M5 or others.
Your files and all other data and services (video conferencing, etc) need to be completely accessible from a computer with a web browser. Work with a local IT consultant to ensure you can do this productively and SECURELY.
So bottom line – if your data is secure and if you can remotely access your data – you’ll be just fine when any disaster strikes.