If you think back to a time when you lost some kind of document on your personal computer, perhaps an essay for school or college, a book you were writing, an important to do to list, or anything else, the least you can say about the situation was that it was frustrating. If nothing could be recovered, the only thing for it would be to start all over again, and hope you remember to back everything up this time.
Now imagine you run a business – perhaps you already do – and the same thing happened. Imagine losing months or even years worth of work in a second. Imagine not knowing what any of the orders you had on your system were for, or who they were for. Imagine having to start all of this over from scratch. It would be an impossible task.
This is why having an IT disaster recovery plan in business is crucial. If something were to go wrong, if you can recover at least some of it then the problem can be mitigated. If you can recover all of it, your customers and suppliers won’t even have to know there was a problem. Here are some steps to take to create an IT disaster recovery plan.
Conduct an Inventory of Your Assets
Before you can set about organizing and designing an IT disaster recovery plan, or before you outsource the task to an expert company such as Iconic IT, you need to know exactly what tools you have and what would happen to your business if they were no longer working.
To do this, you need to look at:
- Storage and storage devices
- Network hardware and applications
You should know what each of these does and where you would find it before you can ascertain the impact an issue with one or more of these assets would have. Check what each connects to as well; it is unlikely they work individually.
Identify Critical Systems
It will depend on the business you run as to exactly which of these assets and systems are the most critical. If you have an online store, for example, anything related to your website is going to make the critical list. If you are a manufacturer, it will probably be your CAD software that is most important. Each different business is going to find that its critical systems are unique to it.
Knowing which your critical system or systems are will help you determine where to start and what to focus on should something go wrong.
Have the Right Tools
Once you have worked out what needs to be saved, and what needs to be saved first, you should ensure you have the right tools to aid the recovery. This might mean investing in anti-virus protection or utilizing the cloud more. It might mean, as mentioned above, outsourcing your IT to ensure you always have someone on hand to run the recovery operation should it be required.
There are a number of different pieces of software that will run a recovery program on your network too – investigate these and with the right research you should be able to find one that will do what you need it to do. Hopefully, you will never need to use it, but it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.