By: Jim Higgins, IT Solutions
With most data backup reliably covered by removable hard disk and off-site data center storage, companies today are feeling much more secure than the days of tape and limited off-site options. But when thinking about disaster recovery and business continuity, proper backups are only part of the story. If a disaster were to strike your business in the form of fire or flood, or something more common (and soon to be a likely possibility) such as a heavy winter storm that knocks out power and access to your office, are you prepared to conduct business "as usual?"
At IT Solutions, we recommend first and foremost to take care of backups with the latest technology available, which typically includes our DataVault service. If budget allows, we also recommend redundant backup of business critical data off-site at our highly secure, SAS 70 Type II data center facility under our DataVault DR / BC Plans.
An additional best practice all should follow doesn’t involve expensive technology or extensive consulting -- it’s simply to have a disaster recovery/business continuity (DR/BC) plan. Such a plan should address the most likely candidates for business interruption, such as power outages, floods (including the kind from burst pipes) and inaccessibility to the office from storm damage. It should also address non-weather or water-related threats, such as damage that could be caused by a disgruntled employee or a sickness outbreak that affects a large portion of your workforce. By thinking through these scenarios and how the company can stay productive through work at home or a temporary work site, etc., the odds of long-term business interruption can be greatly reduced.
Once the plan is written down, and any necessary emergency products or services are identified, it should be shared with the entire company and reviewed and revised at least once annually. The plan should also be shared with trusted business advisors, including your accountant and insurance agent, as discounts on insurance may be available for having a written plan in place. If writing a plan from scratch is just too large an endeavor, consider an online tool such as Survivor or Statistic, which is one that we at ITS use and recommend. Or consult with your insurance advisor for other planning tools that may be available.
Finally, for companies looking for the most reliable backup strategy, IT Solutions offers highly secure, fully redundant server hosting options through our NearCloud plans. Moving servers and related equipment out of your office and into a data center eliminates threats in your building and safely shifts 100 percent of backup processes to an off-site environment where security is second to none. Added benefits include the elimination of expensive server hardware refreshes every few years, lower power and cooling costs, and the overall shift of IT infrastructure costs from capital to operating expense.
For more on IT Solutions’ business continuity and disaster recovery options visit our web site. Or contact your VCIO to schedule a complimentary consultation.