A national tragedy, such as the devastating tornado in Oklahoma, helps us bond as citizens and as a country. It makes us realize the importance of life, how short it can be and that anything can change in an instant. While its not always possible to avert a crisis, we can do our best to prepare for them and plan ahead for how to handle what comes our way. Developing a business continuity and disaster recovery plan is the first step toward preparing your business for any type of crisis.
A crisis that sets your disaster recovery plan in motion can be something as minor as a computer virus or power outage to something as grandiose as a natural disaster. Your disaster recovery plan is a set of steps that helps you keep your business operating in an orderly fashion despite unordinary circumstances. It outlines the roles of employees during the event, how they continue their daily activities and how the business will maintain its presence.
Disaster recovery plans have many facets and include not only how your personnel will respond, but also how to reorganize your assets to continue operations, as companies maintain digital assets like software programs and data. In todays business, it is crucial that these are always accessible to employees so that they can continue to perform as expected.
A 2012, an article by BusinessWeek stated, Failing to prepare [for a disaster] can mean millions of dollars in losses... In addition to this, a study conducted in 2011 by Disaster Recovery Journal found that of 300 executives interviewed, three-quarters of their businesses had disaster recovery plans in place. When your business is at stake, competitors have already implemented these plans and you could potentially lose millions of dollars in a single incident, it becomes clear how important it is to begin building your plan.
Setting up a secondary off-site disaster recovery location for your business is the simplest and fastest way to resume your digital assets. Take time to identify your mission-critical data and store it in the off-site location of your choice. This ensures that if you are hit with a regional disaster, such as a power outage or natural disaster, your data is safe in another region, ready for you to bring live.
An off-site location is not only more efficient for bringing up your resources at the click of a button, but it is also more cost-effective for your business. Traditional methods of disaster recovery require you to back up your data, store it on a physical memory device and then ship it for storage at an off-site location. When a disaster strikes, you then have to pay shipping to bring the physical memory back to your location before you are able to re-implement your environment. It also reduces the time to be up and running without the need to purchase new infrastructure.
Cloud computing resources simplify all of this. Automated systems keep your virtual snapshot updated with the latest data from your system, ensuring that your data is always current. Since it is a virtual copy, you dont need to pay for shipping to bring it back to your location when you need it. Instead, you restart the virtual machine with the click of a button and begin setting up your environment.
Disaster recovery and business continuity planning have become more complex and more simplified all at once. There are new threats being introduced to your business daily, which means there is more to plan for, but the dawning of better forms of technology will help you simplify processes. In any case, we hope you never have to use your business continuity plan, but its better to have one and not need it than to be caught without it in a time of need.