Disaster Recovery Plans Prevent Downtime & Lost Revenue
Savvy business owners proactively develop a disaster recovery plan, to ensure that they have a detailed, tested and documented plan for implementing their IT recovery process, in the event of a man-made or natural disaster. A disaster is, typically, defined as any event which causes the interruption of computer operations, requiring that those operations are moved to an off-site “recovery” location.
Perhaps you’re not fully convinced that your business needs a comprehensive disaster recovery plan. Maybe you feel that the risk isn’t critical enough for you to take action. Regardless of the reason for not having a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, many unprepared business owners don’t see the need, until it’s too late.
If you have ever experienced a catastrophic data loss, due to unforeseen circumstances, then you already know the benefits of having a disaster recovery plan in place. Here, we will detail some of the things that your business can do to prevent loss of data and business, in the event of an unforeseen disaster.
Unless your IT staff has a thorough understanding of your entire network, in addition to your business processes, they cannot develop a plan to, quickly and seamlessly, replace services in the event of an unforeseen disaster. Detailed documentation on your network is an essential part of a good backup and recovery plan. It will help you and your IT staff clearly understand and identify the way that your network functions, which will allow you to remedy problems expediently, in the event that you lose network connectivity or telecommunications services.
In the event of a simple failure, like a router, a comprehensive network blueprint allows you to solve the problem quickly, by simply replacing the faulty router. Further, Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) tools are also available, which can assist you in documenting your network equipment, automatically. Lastly, many companies are taking photographs of their equipment, to document their inventory, particularly in server rooms, so that the equipment can be quickly moved and reassembled, in the event of an unforeseen disaster.
One of the most important aspects of a comprehensive disaster recovery plan is thorough documentation of all of your IT equipment inventory, across the enterprise. This information can be crucial to your IT staff, because it identifies network and telecommunications equipment, that your business already owns, which can be utilized, quickly, to restore services, in the event of a disaster. By having a thorough accounting of your IT equipment, your staff can plan for unforeseeable events, and have a roadmap, in place, to restore data services, if the situation dictates. Good asset management also prevents employee theft and cuts down on clutter, in the workplace, which can happen at any organization. A detailed description of all of your network and telecommunications equipment is highly recommended, for any comprehensive disaster recovery plan.
We’ve already reviewed how good documentation can result in better network management, but it can also help management identify areas of potential cost savings. For example, running three separate servers may not be cost-effective, when a better alternative might be to run three virtual servers, on one physical piece of equipment. By having good documentation, your bird’s eye view can help you locate potential cost savings associated with reconfiguring some of your data processes. Many businesses find that implementing cloud services, for disaster recovery, makes good sense and saves their business money, over the long-term.
Disaster Recovery Drills
With a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place, your business can test and troubleshoot various scenarios to determine what would happen in the event of a disaster, before disaster strikes. Just like a tornado drill is designed to increase preparedness, a disaster recovery drill can help you locate shortcomings in your plan, which you may not have anticipated. This allows your team to modify your disaster recovery plan, to ensure that all of your services can be restored quickly. Also, because the business process and IT systems evolve, over time, your disaster recovery plan should undergo scheduled reviews to identify any potential sources of change, such as staff changes or compliance requirements.
From a marketing perspective, having a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, in place, can be a valuable selling tool for your business. If your company provides services to other businesses, having a comprehensive disaster recovery plan helps to establish trust with your client base. Your customers can rest assured, knowing that you will deliver on the promises that you’ve made to their company, even in the event of an unforeseen disaster.
Another important part of a company’s disaster recovery plan is to ensure that they’re not relying on a single employee, to restore services, in the event of a disaster. Having more than one employee, who is familiar with your network and equipment, is crucial for any business developing a disaster recovery plan. Every organization should ensure that there is more than one employee trained, in the event that an employee leaves the company, is on vacation or is simply unavailable to respond to the disaster. Having more than one employee, who has been trained and is intimately familiar with your network and equipment, will ensure that your business can quickly recover in the event of a disaster.
There are all sorts of benefits to having a disaster recovery plan in place before a disaster happens, but the most important is peace of mind in knowing that your business will not suffer downtime because of a lack of preparedness. Comprehensive disaster recovery plans are designed to keep your business operating in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
Clarus Communications has worked with numerous enterprises to help them design comprehensive disaster recovery plans. From cloud services to data networking, our consultants are trained to ask questions and work closely with your employees to develop a disaster recovery plan that will meet your needs now, as well as allow for future growth and flexibility. We invite you to contact us today at 314-801-6700, to find out how a comprehensive disaster recovery plan can benefit your business.