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Disaster Recovery Plan: Is Your Business Prepared?   1 comment

Sep 1, 2016 @ 8:44am disaster recovery

Disaster Recovery Plan

Disaster can strike at any time. From earthquakes to tornadoes to hurricanes, there is a wide variety of natural disasters that can take place and cause incredible damage to a business. In addition to natural disasters, businesses may also be harmed by fires, floods or IT issues. It is essential that businesses of all sizes have a comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan.

Here are some of the issues that a business may face following a disaster and how they can ensure business continuity in the aftermath.

 

Dealing With Displacement

Many disasters can result in major physical damage to buildings and stores. This means that companies should have both an evacuation plan in place and a plan for dealing with the displacement that generally comes with major damage to a building. It may be days or weeks before a building is suitable for people to work in after a fire or a flood, and employees will still often still need a centralized location to work out of.

Organizations should determine ahead of time if employees will be expected to telecommute, if arrangements will be made to rent other facilities or if staff will be routed to other business locations. Some businesses may want to find a middle-ground where employees meet at certain locations a few times a week but do the majority of their work from home.

 

Employee Communication Systems

One of the major issues that companies run into, even when not dealing with a disaster, is how to communicate effectively. In many cases when there is a disaster, employees are no longer able to go to their normal workplace or call into a specific office to find out what is going on. Therefore, it’s important that a communication system is set up before a problem arises and one is needed.

There are a variety of ways to tackle communications following a disaster, including having a certain phone number that employees call to find out updates about the business. Alternatively, a mailing list or web page can be set up that allows employees to find out the status of a business and what they are expected to do.

 

Keep Copies of Physical Records

Although the paperless office has been a dream for decades, few businesses are completely digital. Most companies offer paper invoices, and customer contracts are almost always printed and signed in pen. This means that there is often a large amount of paperwork that should be stored in a computer but is not.

To ensure that physical records will still be accessible after a disaster, businesses should have a system in place for making and keeping copies of paperwork. A scanner can be employed to capture images of paperwork, and there are object character recognition software suites that can turn the scanned images into text. Once paperwork is in a computer system, it can then be uploaded to the cloud.

This brings us to one of, if not the most important component of a successful Disaster Recovery Plan, utilizing the cloud

 

Take Advantage of The Cloud

Cloud computing has changed the way that many businesses handle disaster recovery and business continuity planning. One of the biggest changes that being able to use a cloud backup has brought to the business world is the ability for smaller organizations to use the type of data recovery systems that historically were only available to large organizations.

Now, any business’ disaster recovery plan can include complete data backups that are off-site and redundant. Prior to cloud backup systems, businesses were often limited to storing data backups on-site. If a fire broke out or servers were damaged in some other way, on-site data would be lost. Off-site backups frequently required manually making copies of data and/or moving storage media to a different location before cloud computing streamlined the backup process.

The cloud now allows data to be saved automatically, and many businesses are working off of cloud-based systems at all times. Another major benefit of using the cloud for backups is that many other types of data storage have significant failure rates. Tapes, in particular, were used for decades as a method of storing backup data, but it has been found that they have about a 10 percent failure rate.

Cloud computing offers redundant file storage, so unlike with tapes or even hard drives that could potentially fail, data saved to the cloud is almost guaranteed to always be available. Systems can be set in place to back up data automatically, and cloud storage allows you to keep multiple copies of records with different time-stamps.

Another major benefit of using these types of backup systems is that they can be used almost anywhere. So long as an employee has access to the Internet, they should be able to log into the cloud and access business files and applications.

The Cloud is helping businesses recover their most critical systems and data faster, while also avoiding the expensive infrastructure costs of onsite or in-office datacenters. Leveraging the cloud is by far one of the best, most cost effective ways to protect your company and ensure business continuity when disaster strikes.

 

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Written by David Maurer on September 1st, 2016

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One Response to 'Disaster Recovery Plan: Is Your Business Prepared?'

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  1. Thank you, This is the best article I have ever come across,
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