Topics: Implementing disaster recovery, productivity, disaster recovery, systems and data, backup
Implementing disaster recovery best practices in your business may seem like a time-consuming project, but it’s an essential step to protect your resources and reputation in the event of a system failure. There’s more on the line than just losing data. The time it takes to get things up and running again lowers your productivity. Not only that, but the downtime can lead to lost sales and a loss of confidence as clients and customers try to access you during the downtime.
The first step in developing a plan is to decide what hardware and software are critical for the operation of your business. Are there programs that your business can do without for a few hours or days? Which ones will bring the company to a standstill? Identifying and prioritizing these items will ensure that you and your staff are concentrating on the most critical elements of your network in the event of a disaster. It’s also important to make sure that representatives of many departments are on hand to help decide the priority list. Each department may have a different idea of what is important, and it’s only by hearing each perspective that you can put together a comprehensive plan.
A plan is the right place to start, but your disaster recovery best practices will need to be reevaluated and updated on a regular basis. It’s important to have one person or one group of people in charge of doing this. If it is part of an employee’s job duties, you can ensure that they are making sure the company’s needs are being met.
Another key step in disaster recovery is regularly backing up your systems and data. Limiting the amount of time between your last backup and a disaster means there is less data lost and you can recover more quickly.
Test your plan by having a mock disaster. If you know in advance that you are going to have a mock crisis and have your data and systems properly backed up, you can test both your employees and the plan without risking losing data or much time. This test may seem like a nuisance, but knowing in advance if there are weaknesses in your plan could save you quite a bit of money and resources should the real disaster occur.
Developing and implementing a disaster recovery best practices plan is one key way of protecting your business and customers in the event of a catastrophe. Taking the time to be thorough about the plan and to test it will ensure that your preparations aren’t just good on paper, but that they’re also good in practice. The sooner you can get up and running again, the more time and resources you save - and the sooner you can get back to business.
Daniel Gottilla senior consultant at Guidance Consulting, Inc. has been delivering profitable technology results to everything from small, private firms to Fortune 500 companies.
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