If the phrase “disaster recovery plan,” or “DR plan,” is not one that you have ever heard used inside your business, you’ll want to read on and learn why having a comprehensive plan in place could be the one thing that saves your business in a variety of scenarios.
Is your business ready for an IT disaster?
As we often write about on this blog, there is a broad spectrum of potential disasters that can befall your company’s IT infrastructure — or your business as a whole. These range from hackers, and their detestable bag of tricks, to natural disasters, like floods, hurricanes, fires and more.
When these types of disasters hit your business’ technological infrastructure, you need to have a plan in place that spells out how you’re going to restore it. You can take an inventory of all of your company’s IT assets — email, data storage, VOIP system, etc. — but it can be very beneficial to team up with a qualified IT company to put a robust DR plan in place.
Why DR planning is important — and why an overwhelming majority of small businesses don't have a plan
A disaster recovery plan is just one small piece of a company’s business continuity plan. When disasters strike, it’s certainly not ideal, but companies of all kinds are expected to remain up and running in an efficient manner. The strongest businesses are those that, when faced with chaos and destruction, simply refer to their business continuity plan to keep trucking. They’re resilient. Companies without a plan can experience prolonged downtime, where they are a disservice to their clients and can potentially tarnish their reputation.
Small business owners rarely think about these scenarios because they are often preoccupied with day-to-day operations and are content with dealing with emergencies when they arise. This is not something you want to face flat-footed! Sadly, this is why over half of small businesses never recover from a major IT disaster.
A profound understanding of your business objectives is a must
Before you can even start to put together a disaster recovery or business continuity plan, you have to take a hard look at your business and its objectives. This will help you formulate answers to crucial questions that will steer the direction of your DR plan, such as:
- What data needs to be protected?
- What data can be lost without affecting the business?
- Where is this data being stored?
- How will it be recovered?
Again, IT professionals — whether they’re in your own building, or you outsourced this need — are best at analyzing business objectives and translating them into an effective DR plan. A comprehensive plan will include an inventory of hardware and software, assign responsibilities amongst staff, set target recovery times and so much more.
Your planning is never done
You’re never going to get to a point where you can forget all about your DR plan and expect it to be effective when/if you finally need it. It’s important to test the plan’s durability and keep it updated when your business goes through significant changes.
Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? It is, but a solid DR plan will provide you and your team with peace of mind. While we certainly hope you never have to use it, your business NEEDS a plan in place.