In this uncertain world, it isn’t whether a disaster will happen; it really boils down to when it will happen.
Disasters can occur in a variety of ways, ranging anywhere from fires, floods, tornadoes, riots, or hurricanes, just to name a few.
Far too many companies are seriously vulnerable because they haven’t taken the time to develop a viable disaster recovery plan should a disaster occur. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency reports that almost 75% of companies that neglect to develop a disaster recovery plan fail within 3 years after being a victim of a disaster.
Setting up a disaster recovery plan isn’t as complex or as expensive as you might think. Several of the key steps you can take to protect the viability and continuity of your business following a disaster are both relatively easy to set up and cost effective to implement.
4 Steps to Protect Your Business from a Disaster
Here are 4 vital approaches that you need to take in formulating a viable recovery plan to salvage your business should a disaster occur:
Step 1 – Understand the 5 Types of Disasters that Threaten your Business
These entail the 5 degrees of risk to which your business is exposed from the very simple disaster to those which are potentially devastating.
Here are some basic questions that you need to answer including:
- Lost or missing data – Do you have the ability to quickly restore missing data such as through a back-up system?
- The server crashes – How fast can you re-establish your connection?
- Cannot temporarily use your office – Do you have a system in place that you are able to use for some form of remote access?
- Business is destroyed – Have you set up an alternative infrastructure to continue to operate elsewhere?
- Your entire city has been affected by a disaster – Have you any alternative plan available to operate from outside the city?
Step 2 – Establish your Disaster Threshold Level
There are 2 terms you should remember when developing a plan and they include:
- RPO (Recovery Point Objective) – which establishes the tolerance level threshold your business must withstand should your vital data be lost, and
- RTO (Recovery Time Objective) – which considers the length of downtime that you can manage when you aren’t operating your business.
These 2 terms will vary for different types of enterprises and will depend on how much your business is reliant on technology. The basic approach as you consider your RPO and RTO is to keep in mind that the lower your tolerance level to not being in business, the greater the cost to your business.
Your approach needs to ensure that you put in place the necessary recovery technology to satisfy each threshold level that you have established above.
Step 3 – Create your Disaster Recovery Plan
Once you establish your Recovery Point Objective and Recovery Time Objective, the approach you need to take to reboot your operations will determine your game plan for each disaster scenario. Just remember to be as specific and methodical as you can in spelling out the details including:
- What will be the affect on your business for each scenario?
- What would happen to your network and other important IT systems?
- How would you contact your employees, clients, suppliers etc, and what information do you need to provide to them?
- Who do you need to contact to begin to remedy the recovery plan?
- What procedures will you have to follow to achieve recovery?
- Who in your company will be assigned to follow through with each applicable stage of the recovery plan process?
Step 4 – Access Whether the Plan Works
Any plan is fine in theory, but will it actually work? If your technology is designed to have a back-up system in place, it is extremely important you ensure it not only works but performs according to both your needs and expectations. Will it be backing up your system on a regular basis and will it be functioning within the time frame you have established to re-start your operations?
Your Disaster Recovery Bottom Line
Don’t be caught out if a disaster hits your business! If you don’t have a plan in place, both your business and your livelihood will be at extreme risk. M.I.T. Consulting will help you with developing a plan and preserve your vital data. Call us today at (416) 250-1040 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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