It usually happens without warning.The power cuts off, the emergency generators fail and your business is no longer able to operate. Only when information technology fails us do we realize how much we rely on it.
Disaster recovery planning is essential for the survival of any business. No matter where you live, sudden outages are a firm possibility. Your business is vulnerable to Mother Nature, sudden citywide power outages and destructive viruses. Because today’s business world relies so heavily on information technology, this can be disastrous to a small business. Luckily, by preparing for a disaster, you can minimize impact when something bad happens.
“We used to utilize tape backup, and if a server went down with our previous system, it could have taken up to three days to bring it back online,” Marvin Rubio, IT manager of Fenner, Melstrom & Dooling, states. “That would have caused a grave interruption to the service that we provide our clients.”
Like others in the industry, Rubio has turned to a Cloud-based recovery software solution in addition to his regular backup procedures. While software solutions can be great, businesses need to cover all bases when planning for a potential disaster. Here are a few important steps you can take to make sure your business is back in business as soon as possible following a disaster.
- Prepare a disaster recovery plan. Some businesses outsource this to a disaster recovery expert, but this is something you can do on your own. If your business partners and clients may ask to see your disaster recovery plan at some point, it’s important to make a professional presentation.
- Think outside of I.T. What would you do if your office were suddenly uninhabitable for days, weeks, or even months at a time. Major disasters like hurricanes and floods can shut down operations for a while. You’ll need an alternate place to work in the interim. Whether that’s home or a temporary office location, consider everything you’ll need–from office supplies to furniture to equipment–to get your operations back online as soon as possible.
- Backup isn’t enough. You back your work up every night to reliable media but is that backup securely stored? For a fee, you can have your backup tapes stored in an off-site secure, disaster-proof facility. At the very least, store your backup tapes at one of your other facilities. Having your backups in the same location as your PCs and servers is counterproductive.
- Invest in a Cloud-based data recovery service. Quorum Labs on Q delivers “one-click recovery.” Your data is accessible from any device, allowing you to set up shop anywhere. Your employees can access files from the new location allowing you to scatter your business around town.
- Test your system. A disaster recovery system isn’t useful if it fails when you need it. When you put your disaster recovery plan together, make sure you include plans for regular testing and have checks in place to make sure you complete your testing goals each year.
Disaster recovery planning is an integral part of every business that uses information technology. Make sure your small business is prepared for any surprises life has to offer.