Disaster Planning: Why It’s Important to Create a Disaster Recovery Plan
Disaster Planning: Why It’s Important to Create a Disaster Recovery Plan

Does your business really need a disaster recovery plan?

Whether your business will need to create a disaster recovery plan or not will depend on your answer to the following question:

Can your business continue to operate and serve its clients without its critical applications, hardware and data?  If your answer is ‘Yes’, then you don’t need to create a disaster recovery plan.

If your answer is ‘No’, then let us face the fact that data breaches and technical disasters, while still relatively rare, happen all the time. Now more than ever, it is important to safeguard your business from unpredictable, destructive catastrophes.  Whether it be a hurricane or to human error, machine error, and even a virus infection, without proper precautions and planning, you can lose your business.

Taking precautionary measures, therefore, makes sense. Having a disaster recovery plan is a smart move. Here are the reasons why:

Hardware Fails

Organizations greatly rely on technology, but it is important to keep in mind that machines fail. Hardware is susceptible to hackers, configuration issues, component failure, utility issues, age and other threats. Hardware failure can prevent employees, or your entire business, from working until the hardware is brought back online. With this in mind, it is advisable when you create a disaster recovery plan to ensure all your company data is backed up at all times. Further, having a clear plan for restoring data and services will speed up getting you back online.

Natural Disasters are Unpredictable and Inevitable

No one can predict when a hurricane, flood, or snowstorm will hit, but we do know exactly how destructive they can be. When Hurricane Sandy hit New York City some office buildings were inaccessible for months.  At the very least, the ability to access desktops and servers remotely is hugely beneficial in times like these.  Going a step further, hosting your vital technical processes in the cloud can mitigate the effects of all but the most severe natural disaster.  In cases where business offices are not accessible and remote access is not possible, having an alternate location and a data retrieval plan can be of great value.

Humans are Not Perfect

People make mistakes. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, human error will inevitably arrive. In order to avoid the consequences of committing human error, like misplacing important data, overwriting a file, or deleting a Power Point presentation, it important to build in safeguards as your create a disaster recovery plan.  The ability to quickly recover a document when the pressure is on can certainly avert a disaster for any company.  Employees will never be perfect, but human error can be minimized through IT best practices training and clear communication.

Down Time is Unacceptable

These days businesses, especially service-related businesses, are expected to be available on demand.  Will your clients be understanding when you explain that you missed a shipment because your servers were down?  If your business is offline for more than a single workday, the consequences could be severe.  Businesses could damage their reputations, lose clients and leave their partners in a lurch.  Keeping a presence in times of disaster, even if it’s just by answering the phone, can be very reassuring to your clients and vendors.  Contingency plans should be created for all mission critical services, and a minimal operational baseline should be established.  At the very least, have a plan to forward the phones.

IT systems are crucial to the smooth running of an organization. For this reason, it is vital to make sure these systems constantly operate at high efficiency and are not disrupted. Huge companies and organizations know exactly how important it is to create a disaster recovery plan. In fact, most big organizations spend forty percent of their IT budget on DR planning. The upfront cost for planning what to do when a disaster strikes may seem expensive, but that amount is generally far smaller than what an organization would lose if disaster struck without a plan in place.

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