Keeping ahead of all the challenges a company faces today isn’t easy. Improving operational workflows and managing complex technological environments is hard enough, but what if disaster strikes? Is the company prepared to recover? Have they implemented the necessary contingency plans to prevent operations from grinding to a halt? All these questions are essential in a world where business continuity requires an effective disaster recovery plan.
Companies rely on information flowing into and out of their business daily. The systems that manage the information provide many benefits, but the worst-case scenario could also pose a risk to operations. While it’s never possible to plan for every conceivable event, a robust and comprehensive disaster recovery plan is essential for modern businesses.
The Benefits of Planning for Disaster Recovery
While it may seem obvious, few companies have a documented disaster recovery plan in place. According to a survey conducted by Nationwide in 2017, 68% of businesses haven’t formalized their disaster recovery plan. Even more concerning is that almost half of the respondents reported that it would take at least three months to recover from a natural disaster. For many, it would simply not be possible to sustain operations for that amount of time. As the volume of data used in business continues to grow, losing access to vital information can put the entire company at risk.
Businesses need to note that disaster recovery planning doesn’t just apply to natural disasters. In today’s digital age, a variety of new threats also poses a risk to business operations. These include device failures, cyberattacks, loss of service, and user errors. To ensure the company can recover from all of these scenarios, follow these five steps to implement a disaster recovery plan.
1. Classify Mission Critical Information
The first step in establishing a disaster recovery plan is determining what information is critical to business operations. Not every file on the network or in the IT system may be essential. Keeping critical information in a location where it remains protected can help speed up the recovery process. By classifying information accurately, the company can set up formal procedures to ensure this information receives additional consideration as part of their planning.
2. Create an Inventory of All Essential Digital Infrastructure
Based on what the mission-critical information is, the company should map out the digital infrastructure required for continuing operations. This includes all servers, databases, applications, and networks the company relies on during their standard workflows. Once they know what they need to remain productive, the company can start putting contingencies in place to restore these systems.
3. Develop the Policies and Procedures Required for Recovery
Once the company knows what data they will need to remain productive, they can create plans for different scenarios and document how they will respond to them. Establishing a data and document backup policy to ensure they can restore their information will be vital. Additionally, the company may want to include cloud-based systems to improve operations and ensure a hardware failure doesn’t prevent staff from being productive.
4. Test and Adjust the Disaster Recovery Plan
It’s not enough to write the plan down and communicate it to employees. The company will need to test their strategies against different scenarios regularly. Based on the performance, they can improve and extend their plan to accommodate different situations. The company should also ensure they provide staff with the ability to back up their work or include essential network folders in their global backup procedures.
5. Encrypt All Backups of the Essential Information
With cyberattacks that target businesses of every size on the rise, the company should ensure they encrypt all their backups. This will prevent a successful ransomware attack from encrypting the backups and locking the data. The company can reduce the time required to recover other systems while increasing the information security of their essential information.
Using Managed IT Services from Blue Technologies for Sustainable Operations
One sustainable solution that companies can choose to adopt is a managed services model. With Managed IT Services, the service provider will work with the company to determine their exact requirements and provide contingency plans for a variety of scenarios. While this can help with disaster recovery planning, it’s also an excellent way to improve all IT-related operations. With Managed IT Services, the company will have access to the latest best practices, security, and a team of dedicated experts that understand the risks involved.
Blue Technologies can assist organizations in establishing a set of sustainable practices relating to their IT infrastructure. With Managed Print Services, document management systems, and a variety of business productivity tools, companies can gain peace of mind with Blue Technologies taking care of all their disaster recovery planning and requirements. As continued operations will be vital for sustained business success even in the worst-case scenario, it’s better for today’s businesses to be proactive and adopt a Managed IT Services model.
If you need to discuss your disaster recovery plan requirements or to find out more about Managed IT Services from Blue Technologies, get in touch with one of our experts today.