It’s early into the New Year, and you’ve no doubt already heard many mentions of the Mayan predictionthat the world will end at the close of 2012. Whether you believe the prediction to be true, or that the Mayans simply ran out of room on the rock, there is something to be learned from this apocalyptic warning.
Studies show us that most small businesses are not equipped to survive a major disruption to their business systems – which means they are at risk of an ‘end of the world’ event each and every day.
In 2011, 365 met Winnipeg businesses who have experienced:
– Complete site loss due to fire
– Prolonged power outages
– Server and data loss due to theft
While the likelihood of these events is admittedly low, their impact can be catastrophic. In fact, many businesses don’t recover.
So, the question becomes where to start? Let’s assume that your business already has a backup plan in place (if not, we can help) what extra steps are needed to develop a disaster recovery plan? Here are 3 suggestions:
1. Identify your Essential Business Data
Ideally, businesses should be protecting all of their data. In practice, some data is more important than other. Identifying mission critical information, and protecting it, is an important part of any disaster recovery plan. For example, while some data may be backed up on a daily basis, a system that receives multiple updates throughout the day (such as an accounting application) may benefit from a real-time solution that sends updates to an offsite location several times daily.
2. Identify your Mission Critical Systems
If your business system became unavailable due to a disruption or loss, what would be the first thingsyou would need access to? Email communications? Financial System? Another critical business application?
Where do these systems reside today? Are there contingency plans in place? How quickly could access be restored?
3. Know your Downtime Tolerance, Business Needs, and Budget
There are many options available to businesses to protect their business systems. Generally speaking, the cost of these options increases with the level of protection. Your specific disaster recovery solution will depend on your business, its specific needs, your tolerance for downtime, and your budget – all things that need to be discussed before looking at solutions.
As a starting point, take our 2 question disaster recovery quiz.
While we fully expect the world to still be here a year from now, we hope you’ll take advantage of the year ahead to protect your business from an ‘end of the world’ event. If you would like a consultation on starting your Disaster Recovery planning process, we would be happy to help.