A lot can happen to a business when companies least expect it, especially in terms of disruptions. Human error or Mother Nature can impact operations for an hour or two, or destroy mission-critical data if firms lack a proper backup plan. In short, organizations, regardless of industry, need an effective disaster recovery strategy to avoid prolonged periods of downtime.
Forbes contributor John Beattie recently highlighted some ways companies can improve their recovery and business continuity protocols. Firms often continue to implement similar strategies year after year, which is not always the most sound approach to maintaining operational efficiency and safeguarding data.
Beattie noted that traditional recovery initiatives have three main issues. First, they include repetition, so organizations take the same route from year to year. Second, companies only conduct spot checks with their systems. Lastly, "they exercise evasively," avoiding testing problem areas they know will have issues.
Don't test small
Companies that decide to update their disaster recovery strategies should not test new protocols on a small scale, but that will represent real-world situations. For example, Beattie wrote that a firm may conduct a small exercise allowing 20 people to work from home on a given day. This business will likely not experience any challenges during such an experiment.
"When disaster hits and your facility is closed for three days, you suddenly discover that there is a big difference between 20 people working from home for one day and having planned for the exercise vs. 200 people working from home for three days with no clue that this switcheroo was going to occur," Beattie wrote.
Businesses that plan on having people work from home in the event of disaster should take a progressive approach. Beattie encouraged firms to start a test with a few people, then include one department and then expand to multiple teams to prepare if a disruption does occur.
Always expect the unexpected
Even if your organization has never experienced a prolonged disruption, disasters can strike at the most inopportune moments. Think of it like this: If your business if forced to close its office for a day or a week and lack the infrastructure to allow employees to work remotely, your firm is at a severe competitive disadvantage to rivals that are offering their service during this time.
If your business wants to be ready for any situation regarding your mission-critical data and operations, it may be time to seek support from a managed IT services provider such as Pinnacle, an Advanced Imaging Solutions company. We help clients with their disaster recovery by analyzing their unique operational demands and IT needs to create an effective strategy to maintain efficiency at all times. We also conduct ongoing assessments to make any necessary changes along the way to react to changing market trends.
There is no telling when the next major hurricane, tornado, flood, fire or other Mother Nature-related incident will occur. If your business has put disaster recovery off to the side up to this point, you should strongly consider refocusing your efforts on this necessary strategy. Such safeguards must not be viewed as an option, but a core part the future success of the company itself.
Beattie asserted that the time is now to align business continuity with disaster recovery and test their true purpose.
"This means we need to be conducting exercises that are strategic, progressive and transparent," Beattie added. "Exercising this way will ensure that there is no panic - only confidence - when you hear the words, 'This is not a test!'"
Contact Pinnacle today to shore up your disaster preparedness. Click here for more details.