“The monkeys are coming!”
No, it’s not another Planet of the Apes movie. But in June, a monkey caused a nationwide power outage in Kenya. For hours, millions of businesses were without electrical power, costing them a large amount in lost revenue. This shows that not all disasters come in the form of major storms.
And before you say “but that’s in Kenya”, are you really prepared for ‘mundane’ disasters like broken water pipes flooding office buildings? Or failed air conditioning units leading to overheating of servers? What of the ever present danger of hacking?
Data loss can happen at anytime and to any business, regardless of size or geographic location. This makes planning for recovery the best way to ensure business continuity.
Like most businesses, you probably use technology to process information quicker and your employees use email to communicate. Your servers process and store large amounts of data. So what happens when all your technology stops working? Can you really afford any downtime?
According to a study by Enterprise Strategy Group, only 53% of organizations can tolerate less than an hour of downtime. Past that and they experience adverse business impacts including significant revenue loss.
With the popularity of big data, the total volume of data loss has also increased more than 400%. The total cost of data breaches is now projected to reach more than $2.1 trillion by 2019.
With these stats, isn’t it time to implement a BDR plan?
With the sources of data loss as varied as they are, it can be hard to have an all-in-one template for disaster planning. However, here are some key steps to making disaster recovery part of your business IT:-
- Know your RPO and RTO – Developing a disaster recovery plan starts with determining the optimal recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO) for your business.
Your RTO is the minimum amount of time required to get your business back up and running i.e. how much downtime you can afford. RPO relates to how much data your company may lose in a disaster. Ideally, these times should be as short as possible.
- Prioritize critical systems – After calculating how much downtime you can afford, the next step is to compile and prioritize your critical systems. By classifying important processes and mapping out dependencies, you ensure that you get the most critical systems back online as soon as possible.
When prioritizing, seek input from other departments as what one may consider critical isn’t a top priority for other key departments.
- Identify key personnel – Establish a disaster recovery planning committee, and lay out who is responsible for what. With key roles and responsibilities identified, your business can get back on track much quicker.
- Choosing effective recovery strategies relies on the type of disaster that occurs. Some, such as a power outage, can affect any business; others can be unique to certain locations. To develop an effective recovery plan, extensive risk assessment should be carried out.
Consider your existing facilities, hardware, software, data files, end-user systems etc, and anticipate the effects of a disaster.
For example, where will your data backup go? Will it remain on-site or off-site? Remember that if the disaster destroys your office building, any backups stored on-site will probably be destroyed along with your primary servers.
To avoid this, your business can use off-site backup solutions like tapes stored away from the office, a removable hard drive, or a cloud software solution.
- Finally, ensure you test the disaster recovery plan. With your BDR in place, a structured walk-through test must be conducted. This will provide any additional information and help identify any procedures that are not effective. When it comes to BDR, you’re only as good as your last test, don’t be one of the 36% of companies that do not test their recovery at all.
All businesses should spend time creating a recovery plan that ensures the business is quickly supported after a disaster. The use of cloud applications and storage, alleviates the risk of saving files on-site or on hardware like external hard drives.
Using the cloud, even when faced with a flooded office, your staff can still access your information and get on with the job of running the business
Contact DevSoft to learn more about how solutions like Office 365 can save your business from disaster.