The digital world has become part of almost everything you do. It is virtually impossible to create and run a successful business without having a presence on the internet. Alongside this almost every business relies on computer software to keep track of their data.
Your computer system will have details of all the sales you have made, your expenses and all your customer details. It will probably even have information regarding your business projections and strategies.
This leads to the all important question that too many businesses ignore; what would you do if you lost all that data? The truth is that your business would be instantly struggling to stay afloat; even the assistance of a professional firm.
Can a Disaster Happen?
This is the most common reason for not creating an IT disaster recovery plan; the belief that it will simply not happen to you. Unfortunately it can! You may be unfortunate enough to suffer a catastrophic fire; you may find your systems are hacked and destroyed beyond repair. It is even possible that your computer system simply shuts down and will not restart.
It can and does happen; the consequence is extremely damaging to your business and can even result in the closure of your business. You will simply be unable to continue trading.
Designing your IT Disaster Recovery Plan
It is essential to design your IT disaster recovery plan now; before an incident happens. To do this there are several simple steps to follow:
- Back Up – You must back up your data today! Whether you use a separate hard drive, a tape drive or even transfer your data to the cloud; you need to have a copy of your data off site and disconnected from your operational systems. This should be done every day with the latest data being taken off site at the end of the day. Most people have a designated back-up person who takes the latest data home with them.
- IT Disaster Recovery Plan – You will also need to look at what steps need to be taken if your business does suffer a disaster. It is best to seek professional help at this stage; there are many other elements to consider and a good firm will guide you through all the necessary processes.
- Continuity – If you choose to do it yourself you will need to consider how you can start trading again. The quicker you can do this the fewer the number of customers you will lose. To be able to trade you will need a computer to load your data onto. You will also need any manufacturing and packing equipment you normally use. In effect you should look at every step of your working processes and decide what the bare minimum requirement is to be able to perform each step.
It should then be possible to establish a plan of how you would get the necessary equipment and space. This plan should be evaluated regularly as all the factors are variable.
Hopefully you will never need to use your IT disaster recovery plan, but, if you do you will be grateful you have one!