Does my business need a Disaster Recovery Plan?
In a nutshell: ‘Yes!’ After all, you ensure your home, office, car and other assets, right? And that’s really what a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is – an insurance policy for your business that will help you keep on trading if an incident takes place. There are all kinds of scenarios that could leave you in the lurch if you’re not prepared, from freak weather conditions to complete data loss due to systems failure or cybercrime.
Have we persuaded you that you need a DRP yet? If not, let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why creating one needs to be on your business bucket list.
You can keep up and running if disaster strikes
OK, let’s cut to the chase. How much downtime could you afford to cope with if your IT systems were attacked, damaged or destroyed? Probably not much. At least some of your clients are bound to go elsewhere; patience might be a virtue, but today’s culture tends to mean that when people want something, they want it now. Which will have your competitors rubbing their hands in glee if something goes wrong with your business.
It’s not just about lost productivity and lost profits, either. Your reputation will be on the line if you have to shut down even on a temporary basis because you’re not prepared for the worst. Your clients will expect you to have plans and policies in place to deal with problems (even unexpected ones), so it makes sense to get them sorted!
You’ll be protected against the great British weather
Even something as mundane as a thunderstorm can cause power loss or a power surge which could wreak havoc with your IT systems. And as we’re sure you’re aware, our climate has been somewhat unpredictable in recent years, with flash floods, high winds and extreme temperatures almost becoming the norm.
So, there’s been some crazy weather and you turn up to the office to find everything floating in three feet of water. Or perhaps a gale has blown a tree over and it’s gone straight through your roof. Or there’s no electricity and the power guys can’t get to you for three days. What do you do now?
If you have a Disaster Recovery Plan in place, you’ll know exactly what to do. Because a key part of all DRPs is to identify alternative locations for you and your staff to work if your main premises are unusable or inaccessible. This could be as simple as everyone working from home and accessing your IT systems, data files and phone system from the Cloud. Or you could set up a hot-desking arrangement with a local business centre if you prefer.
You’ll have a backup plan if your IT systems fall over
We’d like to think that you keep your IT networks and equipment well-maintained so they’re unlikely to fail (if you don’t, we suggest you ask us about our Managed IT Support services). But with the best will in the world, things can still go wrong. So it makes sense to have a plan in place for accessing your business-critical applications, data and communication systems if your server blows up or your phone system throws a fit on you.
Of course, prevention is better than cure. Which is why a core aspect of our Managed IT Support service is remote monitoring. Our sophisticated software keeps an eye on your systems and networks 24/7, flagging up any problems at an early stage so we can nip them in the bud – often before you even realise there’s an issue.
You’ll comply with Data Protection regulations
Did you know that the new Data Protection laws, known as GDPR, require you to have a plan in place for recovering sensitive data if it’s lost or stolen? Not only that, but you’re also obliged to test said plan – and all your IT and data security practices – on a regular basis.
Naturally, compliance with the law is important. But it’s also imperative to manage your data correctly from both ethical and operational viewpoints. So a key part of any DRP will always be the implementation and maintenance of robust, failsafe data backup systems. In many cases, that means taking a manual backup and removing it from the premises every day and backing up to a secure Cloud-based service in real time. Believe us, it’s worth it.
You won’t need to worry if someone drops a clanger
Let’s face it, we’re all human. And we all make boo-boos at work from time to time. From clicking on a malicious web link to accidentally erasing 10 years of sales figures, these things happen. But if you have a DRP in place, you don’t need to worry. All your essential business data will be backed up, safe and sound – and in real time, too so you won’t even lose any files.
Any DRP worth its salt will also include regular refresher training for your staff on IT security and ‘best practice’ computer use. So your chances of anyone making a silly mistake that could compromise your systems will be low in the first place. Sounds like a plan to us!
Like to know more? Get in touch with RoundWorks IT today.
Here at RoundWorks, we’re well-seasoned in the art of creating Disaster Recovery Plans. We’ll work with you to identify the risk factors that could put your business out of action and magic up robust solutions to mitigate them. If you’d like more information about how we do this, look out for our next article as we’ll explain just that.
Or, give us a bell or drop us a line today to discuss your business IT requirements and book a FREE systems audit with an experienced and friendly engineer. Ciao for now!