Do you have a plan in place for your business if you were to lose access to your key documents? When an outage or disaster occurs not being able to access critical data can harm your reputation with existing clients and cause you to lose out on new business. Creating a backup and disaster recovery plan is key to a quick return to business.
When Disaster Strikes
Everything from your email and phone systems to archived databases can be at risk. In order to make an effective backup and disaster recovery plan, you must first understand what systems, documents, and applications are critical for your business to keep operating. This will help you pinpoint areas to prioritize, getting your business up and running again as quickly as possible. You should also outline a goal time frame to reestablish connectivity.
Paper documents are especially vulnerable, as without backups it is extremely difficult – if not impossible – to recover the information in these files. Fire, water damage, theft, and other situations can quickly devastate your business. By converting these paper documents to digital, you can take advantage of easy backups and cloud storage to facilitate disaster recovery. This also has added productivity and cost benefits for your business.
Not Just IT
While IT solutions such as digitized files, cloud storage, and automatic backups are important components to recovering quickly after an outage, to be truly effective you must also reach beyond IT solutions. If your email went down, do you have the information necessary to quickly notify all the people you need to contact about the outage? Some steps you should take to prepare include:
- Print out lists of phone numbers and other contact information for employees, suppliers, important customers, and service providers. Keep them current and easily accessible.
- Designate roles and make sure each employee knows what they must do if there is a disaster.
- Set up policies for customer notification and communication.
- Plan for a prolonged outage as well as smaller situations.
Your disaster recovery plan can be a part of your larger business management solution. By looking at it as a whole-business issue you can develop an effective IT and non-IT strategy for dealing with any emergencies that may arise.
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