Do You Have A Disaster Recovery Plan?

Disaster Recovery Plan

As a small business owner, you’re responsible for just about every single aspect of your business. Just getting everything up and running and operating smoothly can be a Herculean task. The intense feeling of satisfaction when you get things off the ground can be one of the best experiences you’ll ever have. But you can’t afford to rest on your laurels.

One bad storm that wreaks havoc and causes a dead tree to fall onto the wires that give your tech life could shut you down for days. Or simple human error from tradesmen working in your area could lead to your system malfunctioning, potentially causing the loss of massive amounts of important work and data that can cripple your enterprise. In order to safeguard against such issues, having managed IT services that include a quality disaster recovery plan should be at the top of your to-do list at the outset of this new year.

What is a disaster recovery plan?
Prepared Not Unprepared

A disaster recovery plan, also known as a business continuity plan, is a process you have in place for when something unexpected hits that could put your business in jeopardy. These types of unforeseen events can include everything from natural disasters to man made mistakes that can grind your company to a halt. Even something as simple as a power outage can do a number on your enterprise, affecting key files and documents that you rely on for everything from servicing customers to operating your customer relationship management efforts.

What is in a disaster recovery plan?

Not every disaster recovery plan will look exactly the same, as not every small business has the same requirements. However, there are some common threads that run through many popular and effective systems.

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The cloud

With so many amazing benefits, the cloud is an indispensable part of business operations. One of the greatest features of the cloud is that it can be the backbone of your disaster recovery plan. The cloud can go a long way in enhancing the digital security of your organisation. Automatically backing up your information to the cloud helps protect it from unforeseen disasters that can affect your local hardware. The fact that business continuity plans are often part of larger managed IT services make it all the more appealing and easy to implement.

Communication

While the emphasis of a tech disaster should of course be on restoring the tech itself, you can’t forget to take care of your team. If you’ve hired the right people, you know that they’ll have as much sweat equity invested in your small business as you do. So, when the stuff hits the fan, you need to make sure your team members know what to do. Just as you would with a fire drill, make sure you walk them through the steps that need to be taken in order to function when disaster strikes. This includes making sure they consistently take care of and use the aforementioned cloud computing services.

Acceptable loss

Sometimes, whether it’s due to your team, your own actions or the sheer destructive power of whatever disaster befalls your enterprise, you need to decide what is worth saving and what you can either recover yourself later or live without. These efforts are calculated using two measures. Recovery point objective (RPO) is how much data your organisation can live without. The other factor is recovery time objective (RTO). This is how long you can afford for your business to focus on recovery. Using such readings appropriately can help you make prudent decisions in a time of crisis.

Updating and revising

Your small business and the industry in which you operate can change steadily over time. Because of this, what’s important to you in terms of data as well as the standard processes and systems you rely on every day might change. This means the focus of your disaster recovery plan might need to change, too. Checking in on your plan and discussing it with your managed IT services provider will ensure that you’re not caught out with an outdated plan if something bad does end up happening.

While consulting a disaster recovery plan template to make sure you have each of these important pieces in place is a good place to start, the most important thing to remember is that your process needs to be tailored to your specific enterprise. Don’t let anything, even major unforeseen issues, get in the way of you getting where you want to be with your business. Make sure you have an up-to-date disaster recovery plan in place so you can worry about other important steps to success in 2017.