By the DynaSis Team
As the U.S. lumbers through yet another year of debilitating winter storms, it is becoming painfully clear to more businesses, every day, that disaster recovery isn’t an issue only for the “summer storm” months. Here in our corporate home of Atlanta, we have been spared the hardships of last winter, so far. However, February is one of the months when we are most likely to experience a winter storm.
Disaster recovery (as opposed to its longer-term cousin, business continuity) is about rapid resilience. Think of it as your “bounce back” metric. In the event an ice storm paralyzes your company and keeps employees at home, will your “doors” still open the next day? What if the key employee charged with ensuring continuity is stuck on the side of a road in his or her car?
These are questions many firms fail to consider when they think of disaster recovery. In our discussions with new customers and prospects, we are amazed at how many have narrowly defined plans that require every piece of the puzzle to fall into place, perfectly. As anyone who has experienced a disaster knows, crisis events never unfold perfectly.
Some companies accept the idea of closing their doors for a day or a week in the event of extreme weather or other closure event. Others cannot lose even an hour of operation. An alarming largely number haven’t tested their plans adequately or don’t have a step-by-step plan for recovery if the impetus for disaster is technology (e.g. a blown server) rather than weather.
In our virtual travels around the Internet, we found a 10-minute survey, prepared by the IT Disaster Recovery Preparedness (DRP) Council (a non-partisan advocacy group composed of IT business, government and academic leaders). It is designed for firms operating virtualized environments. However, the majority of its questions are germane to all businesses, virtualized or not. If you have a few minutes, take the quiz and see where your business places.
More importantly, make 2015 the year when you commit to ensuring your firm adheres to basic disaster recovery recommendations. On the IT side, double check your backup plan and find out how long it will take to restore your data, should you need it. Ensure your employees can access company data from either your server or your backup, securely and remotely. (Preferably, they should be able to access it from their phones―and know how to dock their phones to a laptop for Internet connection. Cellular providers are federally mandated to have a very high level of continuity and backup power.) If your business relies on ordering or other systems hosted in the cloud, explore the disaster recovery plans for your providers, too.
On the people side, assign someone in your company to work on evaluating and updating any materials you have. In the wake of even a small disaster, confusion over mission critical activities and chain of command brings many firms to their knees. Make a schedule to test your plan.
Finally, remember that you don’t have to handle these tasks alone. DynaSis offers four different disaster recovery solutions based on your level of outage tolerance. We can have you up and running, even in the event of a site disaster, in two hours or less. To explore the subject more thoroughly, we invite you to download our white paper on disaster recovery planning.
Many business owners are surprised to learn that significantly improving their business resilience can be achieved with minimal additional investment that can reduce both cost and risk. To learn more, give us a call.