As recovery efforts continue in New York, New Jersey, and other areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, the amount of damage done continues to come into clearer focus. The disastrous toll on human lives, houses, transit, hospitals, and other infrastructure has been well documented in the days after t
he hurricane hit. In the days, weeks, and months to come, we will hear more details and stories about how this massive storm disrupted lives and derailed plans in the country's hub of culture and commerce.
For businesses operating in the Northeast, Sandy undoubtedly put their disaster recovery plans to the test. For those fortunate enough to be outside of the storm's path, this serves as a stark reminder to assess existing disaster recovery plans. Would your business survive a disaster of this magnitude?
As Sandy has demonstrated, not every factor can be anticipated or controlled in the case of a disaster. If there is water flooding the office, no internet, damaged equipment, and employees concerned with securing shelter and other basic needs, complications are going to be unavoidable. That said, businesses with a strong data backup recovery plan can rest assured that critical data files will not be lost entirely. For an increasing number of companies, data loss can be a crippling blow.
To proactively plan a data backup strategy, identify the most critical data on computers, networks and wireless devices. Work with your IT support team to determine answers to the following questions:
- What type of information is contained in the various data on your system, and how critical is this information to your business and clientele?
- With what frequency is this information updated and/or revised?
- In the event of a disaster, how quickly will this data need to be recovered to avoid irreparable damage?
- When is the system use at the lowest? (This will dictate when backups should be scheduled.)
- If downtime is not an option, do you have the means to backup data offsite in a data center or colocation center?
Developing an IT Recovery Strategy
Along with your business' data, your disaster recovery plan should account for damage and losses incurred to your IT applications and systems - including computers, servers, phones, software, connectivity, and wireless devices.
- Create a list of critical hardware and software applications, and make sure that in the case of a disaster, replacements are available and able to be installed
- What software and hardware is most critical to your immediate recovery? The answer to this question will help prioritize what losses need to be anticipated first.
- Establish who will be responsible for managing the IT recovery plan
- Ensure that all relevant documentation, along with the plan itself, is complete, current, and easily accessible
Because data backup and IT recovery are so crucial for business continuity, it is strongly recommended that you work closely with your IT support to ensure that a strong plan is in place and tested regularly. If you have concerns about your recovery plan, talk to your IT staff immediately or feel free to call Switchfast at 773.241.3007 or email TheFutureOfIT@switchfast.com with questions.
Until next time-