Disasters come in many shapes and sizes. There are major disasters such as floods, earthquakes and massive power outages. Thankfully these happen infrequently. However, the smaller disasters such as building fires, frozen and/or burst water pipes, theft, or server failure happen on a daily basis. When it comes to disaster recovery, most companies (if they have a plan) will prepare for the worst. Unfortunately very few companies fail to account for the everyday challenges, which can be just as crippling. And of course, there is the impending Zombie Apocalypse, but we’ll cover that some other time.
It’s vital to have a plan and be able to put it into immediate action, if and when any size disaster strikes. It can often mean the difference between staying open to service your customers or shutting down for a days. According to the web site http://www.preparemybusiness.org/ planning, statistics show that following a disaster, 90% of companies will fail within a year unless they can resume operations within five days. Planning ahead can ensure that you’re back in business quickly and able to provide products and services to your customers and your community.
Network Failures and Disasters
Having an understanding and testing of critical components in your business is a crucial step to having a recovery plan. If any part of your business were down, how long would it take to get it back up and running? What would you need? Who would you rely upon for help? Testing everything from servers, PC/workstations, network/internet, building security, phones/communications, supply chain, workflow and staff procedures as well as response and recovery time is important.
Testing can be anything from a round table discussion among management to a full scale hands on test using live or canned data. More crucial components of your business should be tested regularly, perhaps quarterly but others can be done annually unless your business undergoes extreme change between tests such as staff turnover, change in system providers or simply new management.
When faced with any kind of disaster, remember that you are not alone. There are many city, state and government agencies that can help you prepare ahead of time, give you free emergency plans, business preparedness checklists as well as resources to get your business up and running again such as low interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin
KLH – Minneapolis IT Managed Services Provider
Scott Johnson COO, KLH