During the past five years or so, IT disasters have become synonymous with security breaches that wind up compromising huge amounts of sensitive data. And considering the number of security breaches that have occurred during that time period, it’s not a surprise. But as devastating as they can be, security breaches are just one of many IT disasters that you need to anticipate and plan for. When you draw up a disaster recovery plan, you need to make sure it is robust, comprehensive and agile.
Disaster Recovery Planning: Custom IT Solutions Are Essential
The first thing you need to know about developing a disaster recovery plan is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Sure, there are general objectives and guidelines you can follow. But when it comes right down to the nuts and bolts of drafting a recovery plan, you need to start from the ground up to ensure the solutions you com up with suits your needs, while addressing critical events you’re most likely to encounter.
Your plan needs to be flexible and, above all, responsive. It needs to use a proactive approach that enables you to identify problems and respond quickly before they become major headaches that could make you lose out on time, revenue, and even your company’s reputation. And of course, you need to revisit your plan on a routine basis to ensure it’s updated to match your current needs. Once a disaster recovery plan is in place, it’s easy to become complacent. But just as security threats and other disaster-related issues and impacts can change over time, your plan must evolve to address those changes.
Ensuring your plan is agile and adaptable from the start makes it easier to identify necessary updates and initiate them on a rolling basis. Ideally, you should schedule a review of your plan every 12 months, as well as any time a new and significant feature is added.
Why Plan for Disasters?
Every year, businesses lose millions of dollars from critical events that come up by surprise. Even the most modern, agile business enterprise is prone to unwarranted issues that end up taking a huge toll on their assets and their brand.
Here are three important reasons why it is critical to plan for disasters.
- Nothing lasts forever. Even the most modern and up-to-date hardware can still fail. From hard disk problems, to internet outages and electrical surges, there are plenty of issues that can spark a system failure. One way to circumvent issues arising from a potential loss of data is to have your data backed up regularly and stored off site or on a cloud.
- To err is human. As much as we’d like to proclaim, “It’s the computer’s fault!”, the fact remains that many of today's IT failures are due to human error. To some extent, these problems can be mitigated by implementing multiple firewalls, anti-viral programs, and a system restore software to ensure that if one component fails, another solution will be in place to cover the gap until the underlying problem can be identified and fixed.
- Reactive response is costly. There's a well-known adage in business that says while it's costly to gain a loyal customer, it's even more expensive to win them back after you've lost them. In short: Acquisition is cheaper than reacquisition. In the long run, every dollar you spend in preventing IT disasters can wind up giving you bigger long-term savings or customer retention. The key is to be proactive in your IT solutions by establishing systems and routines long before a critical event occurs so that your company, your brand, and your customers are protected. And if you do it right, your disaster recovery plan will be so seamless, your customers won’t even realise an event has occurred.
Managed IT Services: A Critical Component of Disaster Recovery Planning
If you think designing and implementing a robust and comprehensive disaster recovery plan for your business is well beyond the scope of your budget, think again. Today's managed service providers offer an array of IT solutions to help you identify risks, plan for critical events, and respond quickly, efficiently and successfully — all while minimising business interruptions, maintaining data integrity, and keeping your clients happy and satisfied. Even better, these solutions are scalable, so you can select the services that are most important and tailor a plan that suits your budget and your short- and long-term business goals.
IT disasters can strike anywhere and at any time. In today’s economic climate, having IT solutions customised for your business’s needs isn’t a luxury — it’s a critical necessity. To make sure your business is positioned to weather unpredictable IT disasters, take the time to explore managed IT services and learn more about the scalable solutions that can help you to completely avert them while protecting your company's data, reputation, and bottom line.