Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst with Disaster Recovery

May 9, 2017 Trent Brock

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Is this the year you create or update your disaster recovery plan? Is this the year you postpone it? Is this the year you wish you had a plan? Or is this the year you are thankful to have one?

Your disaster recovery plan is your defense against downtime. Downtime can lead to lost revenue, of course, but it can also lead to legal liabilities and enforcement actions in regulated industries. Simply put, you can’t afford downtime. It is estimated 20% of businesses will experience a problem such as a natural disaster, major equipment failure, cyberattack, or major human error that impacts their IT infrastructure, and 80% of those businesses will close within a year of the incident.

There are five major tech trends that will play a crucial role in determining your disaster recovery strategy:

Cloud Services

By moving critical applications and databases off of on-premise servers and into the cloud, you can help to protect those assets in the event of a failure at your facility. If you want cost savings, easier testing, and potentially faster recovery, you need to consider the role of cloud-based components in a disaster recovery plan. For some businesses, cloud services are making viable disaster recovery affordable for the first time.

Server Virtualization

By creating an image of your entire datacenter, you can quickly activate your disaster recovery plan.

Mobile Devices

Mobile devices provide an alternative means of communication, as well as continued access to certain applications and functions in the event of a disaster.

Social Media

Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms give businesses an alternative way to maintain communication with customers, employees, and other stakeholders in the event of a disaster. If in-house email is unavailable, social media can become a critical lifeline.

Managed Services Providers (MSPs)

A high-quality MSP, like Vology, can help you make the most of these four trends as well as help you develop and implement your disaster recovery plan. Many small to mid-sized businesses and enterprise operations have turned to MSPs for outsource help with some or all of this work.

While the major need for disaster recovery may seem obvious, many businesses are realizing unexpected and valuable benefits. Disaster planning involves inventorying and documentation of all of your IT assets. This is a good way to weed out unneeded hardware, locate spare hardware when needed, and minimize employee theft. This documentation helps you gain a better understanding of how your network operates, allowing you to resolve routine issues more quickly.

Many companies have tasks entrusted to a single employee without realizing that they are vulnerable if that employee is not available for any reason. Part of disaster planning is redundant training to ensure that there are multiple people trained to do every task. This can be invaluable in the case of an earthquake or if your key employee simply has a flat tire.

Documentation and the clarity that comes with it, often helps small to mid-sized businesses and enterprise companies identify areas for cost savings. You will know what functions can be addressed with virtualization or cloud services. Again, this is an area where MSPs can bring a lot of value based on their experience with other companies and their ability to help you implement and migrate quickly and affordably.

Finally, by developing and testing your disaster recovery plan, you not only meet compliance and legal obligations and maximize uptime. You also are able to demonstrate to all of your stakeholders they can rely on you even in the face of major problems.

IT OUTSOURCING WITH VOLOGY

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