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Helping companies to safely move their business and computing environment to new technology.

Disaster Recovery Planning

Disaster: di·sas·ter, noun 1 : a sudden calamitous event bringing great damage, loss, or destruction; broadly : a sudden or great misfortune or failure

There are many business owners which were in operation a few months ago, who were devastated not just by the destruction of their buildings during the hurricane season, but by the loss of their computer based data. The sad thing is that a relatively small investment of time and resources developing a disaster recovery plan and taking a few appropriate precautions, could have saved them time and money re-building their business.
 

“No, it's never going to happen to my business…” We might never have said it aloud, but have reflected that mode of thinking in our actions. If you are you absolutely sure that when the earthquake, flood, tornado, fire, or other natural event happens you will still be safe, we are delighted to hear that you have planned for all possible contingencies. There are many business owners that were in operation a few months ago, who were devastated not just by the destruction of their buildings during the hurricane season, but by the loss of their computer based data. The sad thing is that a relatively small investment of time and resources developing a disaster recovery plan and taking the appropriate precautions, could have made all the difference in their ability to re-build their business. Business today relies on computers for everything from inventory to accounting, so if the right precautions are taken, the chances of not being able to recover can be significantly decreased. Any abnormal circumstance such as a power outage, a water main leak, or even a chemical spill that results in an impact on your business should be evaluated and addressed. Consider the impact an extended power outage would have on your computer environment, the telephones, lighting and HVAC. A water main break or frozen pipe could damage the systems and all of the records. A chemical spill from a rail car could mean an evacuation for several days. There are many other operational areas that need to be examined to determine what measures can be taken to recover a business in the event of a disaster.

The first question that any business owner should ask themselves is “what is the impact on my business if it is out of operation for a while?” While the questions are easy to ask, it takes a long time to determine the correct answers. What is the nature of your business? What is the nature of the outage? What is your businesses turn around time? What about your suppliers? What about your clients? What about your financial institutions and cash reserves? How long will you be able to be in the limbo out-of-business state, before the real trouble starts to set in?

“Are there steps that can be taken to minimize the risks and the impact?” The answer is always yes; and some of the steps can be quite simple. Unforntuantely identifying and minizing risks takes time and devoted resources. Fortunately, there is a high probability that the cost of developing a disaster recovery plan will be significantly less than the cost of recovery without a plan. If you don't currently have a disaster recovery plan in place, then at least make a start. Discuss it with your senior staff and move forward. Remember that there are some things that all of the insurance coverage in the world cannot replace.

A quick start to creating a disaster recover plan:

Document the operational factors for your business.

  1. Critical
  2. Urgent but not critical
  3. Less important

Identify the resources required to keep those critical operations running.

  1. Utilities
  2. Facilities
  3. Human resources and skills
  4. Other

Identify the steps to be taken to restore those critical operations

  1. Infrastructure
  2. Records
  3. Human resources and skills

Once you have the plan in place, summarize it into a check list of the steps needed to get you back up and running, and make it the first section of your Disaster Recovery Plan. (In an emergency you will be glad you did). Make sure everyone has a copy and reviews it, especially the critical human resources. And most importantly, keep the Disaster Recovery Plan itself safe from disaster.

Finally, if you have no idea how to get started, get help, give VIADUCT a call.

Article provided by VIADUCT, LLC. www.viaduct-it.com

 

 

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