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Can your Business withstand an IT Disaster?

Can your Business withstand an IT Disaster?

According to a recent Touche Ross study, the survival rate for companies without a disaster recovery plan is less than 10%. That loss can be attributed to human error, technological failure, a man-made or natural disaster. Businesses that fail to recover from a disaster felt that it would never happen to them or that they were already doing everything possible to prevent it. However it is likely that they did not make Disaster Recovery a priority or have a professional IT support team taking care of it.

In order to prevent your business from being another statistic, ask yourself and your IT support provider these 4 very important questions:

  1. How long can you survive without your data or equipment?
    This question should be your starting point in Disaster Recovery planning. What is the impact of being down for one hour/day/week/month, not just to your financial bottom line but to your reputation? If you already backup your data offsite, how long will it take to gain access to that backup? The ideal BDR (backup and disaster recovery) solution must include offsite replication of your data and should provide access to cloud servers in order to access that data in the event that your office and/or equipment become unavailable.
  2. What Disasters should you realistically prepare for?
    That is a tricky question for small businesses as the overall cost of implementing a disaster recovery plan can be high. Storage costs (both locally and offsite), software costs and labour costs (monitoring, documentation, implementation and testing) can add up. However, you should be able to prepare for any type of disaster by balancing recovery time versus cost. For example if your business can’t afford more than a few hours of downtime, then your offsite backups need to be in an environment that allows them to be “spooled up” in a virtual host within minutes and they need to be remotely accessible to you and your staff.
  3. What data is vital to the business?
    What data is vital to your employees? Where does that data exist? Most business owners would be quick to include their accounting data and/or projects data, but they often exclude the data that exists within the users profiles and their workstations. Ensure that your user profiles are saved on the server to capture all likely locations that users will save their data. Ensure you have ALL your data included in your BDR plan.
  4. Have you tested your disaster-recovery plan and ability to recover?
    It is imperative that these procedures are performed regularly, documented and controlled. Plus be sure that you have the bandwidth in place to be fully recoverable. If your data is saved offsite in another city or province, you will be reliant on your Internet speed for recovery time. Make sure you have the tools and systems in place to monitor the backups (not just an email that says it’s ok). Someone should be reviewing the logs, verifying the data and testing recovery methods to ensure both the reliability of the backup and that it is recoverable in a timely manner.

Backup and Disaster Recovery needs to be a priority for your business IT Support provider. For our team at Superion it is a fundamental service that we provide as part of our Managed IT Services, and is one of our core competencies. We make it paramount to the design and maintenance of the networks we support. If you would like to know more about Superion and how we support your IT security needs, please email or call us today at 604.259.7647.