One question many small- and medium-sized business owners often ask themselves is “Do I need an IT disaster recovery plan?” and if so “What I do I need to put in place?”
Simply put this is the equivalent of driving your car without insurance, you are running the risk of a costly disaster. That cost can sometimes be as serious as the closure of your business, and there are many surveys by organisations such as Gartner and the British Chambers of Commerce to confirm this.
It doesn’t have to be elaborate but you do need to have one and it should be flexible and scalable. There are also two main areas to consider the technology (IT) that forms your recovery plan and your physical documented recovery plan. Both of which are in place to achieve one key objective, getting your business delivering product and or service again as quickly as possible.
Your physical plan is creating a checklist of what needs to be done by whom in what situations. Your IT disaster recovery (DR) plan deals with your IT infrastructure, including its, power sources, backup systems, physical and virtual locations and security.
Taking the example of a server failure below we have outlined these two areas of a DR plan:
If your server fails, these should be the steps you implement internally on your DR document:
In the event that the disaster is more serious, so for example; Power or Broadband outage, Fire, Flood or Building damage, then it is highly advised that a DR server is in place with a cloud element. In one of these situations the business can implement a plan that allows for remote working, however other areas of the infrastructure need to be considered such as telephony.
In summary; today’s business can ill afford downtime and in order to make money they need to be delivering service or selling products. DR is now more obtainable and affordable for the small business owner thanks to the developments in cloud computing.
At some point in the future your business will suffer a small or large scale disaster so if you are reading this and you don’t currently have a resilient solution in place, or don’t know what downtime costs your business then this is the time to ask those questions, failure to do so could have devastating results.