Information technology plays an integral part in every aspect of a company and is crucial in the successful running of a business. Access to data is a must and therefore it is vital to have an effective and well-planned data recovery system that will ensure continued access to data in case of disaster.
While local statistics are hard to come by, a US-based research group found that almost 60% of North American companies do not have a disaster recovery solution in place. Considering that additional research showed that 50% of companies that lose their data due to disasters go out of business within a year and that 93% of businesses close down within five years, the importance of a disaster recovery plan becomes crystal clear.
Planning for disaster might seem a hefty task, so we have compiled a three-piece article on how best to plan for disaster according to your business’ unique needs. Today’s blog concludes this article.
15. Use a disaster recovery service provider
Small to medium-sized enterprises often lack the resources of a specialised IT professional to drive the disaster recovery planning process. Using an external service provider with the necessary expertise to implement the disaster recovery plan that has been designed and signed off by your company’s disaster recovery plan committee might be a good option. These service providers usually also offer server, storage and network infrastructure support and can prove invaluable when disaster strikes to the extent that your employees and company infrastructure cannot cope by itself.
16. Have realistic expectations
While you should of course aim to recover most if not all of your data, you need to remember that a complete service is more expansive than one that focuses on recovering key data and information. Basically, you need to first understand that you get what you pay for. You cannot take a less extensive plan and expect 100% recovery. Secondly, it’s unfortunately one of those things that certain data or information cannot be safeguarded and restored as it was before within a limited amount of time or scope. Once you understand these limitations, you should set up recovery point objectives (when does recovery begin and what is acceptable or at least bearably as an outage) and recovery time objectives (how current is the recovered data, i.e. how far back do your back-ups go and how recent should they be).
17. Who is responsible for what
When planning your data recovery strategy, you need to assign clear and unambiguous roles to the different role players. When disaster strikes there will be no time to organise a reactionary process, so this should already be in place before anything that might go wrong does so. Hand in hand with this goes proper training and compliance to national health and safety practices and standards. The employees assigned to key roles must be equipped to execute them, and well enough trained to do so without hesitation.
18. Identify all the relevant risks
The plan first needs to address and define exactly what would qualify as a disaster. Once this is done, the different applicable variables should be identified and taken into consideration, with careful plans put in place to counter them, should it become necessary. An example would be planning for a fire and taking into consideration not only the physical fire and potential risks it holds for employees, furniture, IT equipment and the overall structure but also the implied risk of a shortage leading to a power outage or physical damage to a server.