What is a Disaster Recovery plan?
Disaster Recovery is the process, policies and procedures, related to preparing for recovery or continuation of a technology infrastructure critical to an organisation, after a natural or human-induced disaster. Organisations of all sizes are dependent on the continuous availability of their IT systems. Do you think your business is ready for a disaster to hit in the next year? Can your business survive a disaster and are you prepared to recover all your essential applications and data quickly and accurately?
Why should you make a Disaster Recovery Plan as part of your New Year Resolutions?
Most businesses think that a disaster will never happen to them, when actually disasters happen more often than we think. A study by research firm Forrester dispels the myth that disaster declarations are rare occurrences, showing that 27% of companies declared at least one disaster during the past five years, in their Global Disaster Recovery Preparedness Online Survey.
A disaster recovery plan is an essential part of any company or organisation, no matter how big or small they are. A disaster usually happens suddenly without any warning or time to prepare, and can potentially prevent businesses trading for days, weeks or in some cases forever.
The Global Disaster Recovery Preparedness Online Survey by Forrester also dismissed the myth that natural disasters such as tornadoes and earthquakes are the most common causes of downtime for a business. In reality, power, IT hardware, software and network failures and human error are the most common causes.
If you can control the potential causes of your disaster such as moving to a more reliable company to host your critical data with, would it not be worth the initial layout? Symantec’s 2011 SME Disaster Preparedness Survey estimates the average cost of downtime for a small to medium business at $12,500 per day (approx. £7,500).
Key findings from this report showed that despite warnings:
- Most SMEs are still not prepared for disaster.
- 50% don’t have a disaster recovery plan.
- Of those 50%, 52% don’t think computer systems are critical to a business.
- SMEs are at risk.
- 65% live in regions susceptible to natural disasters
- Do inconsistent, incomplete backups
- SMEs do not act until it is too late.
- Half of SMEs implemented a plan due to an outage/data loss.
- And only 28% have a tested recovery plan.
- Not being prepared can have a big negative financial impact.
- It could put an SME out of business.
What considerations should be put into your plan?
You now realise the importance of having a disaster recovery plan but what information should you include?
- A key list of personnel required to keep the business running, and contact details for all of the personnel required.
- An alternative place of business, where will the people work from? Do you have an alternative site or have you paid for office space to use in an emergency.
- What office equipment will you require should an incident arise? Both for employees and behind the scenes equipment such as servers, phone systems, data backups.
- What are the documents you need to keep your business running? Some examples are listed below although this is not an exhaustive list:
- Disaster recovery plan (if available)
- Organisation plans and staff contact information
- Suppliers and customers contact number and information
- Health and Safety procedures
- Operations and Administrative pro cedures
- Accounts information such as Asset inventories and Debtors Ledger
- Copies of maintenance agreements / service level agreements
- Relevant industry regulations and guidelines
- Insurance information
A copy of the plan and all the documentation that is listed as required in the plan will need to be kept offsite so that in the event of the original documentation getting destroyed you have backup copies to ensure continuity of your business. The ideal way to do this is to utilise a remote offsite backup solution.
Case Study: Christmas 2010.
On the 27thDecember 2010 a client of Databax’s returned to work to discover that their offices had flooded. The freezing weather conditions over Christmas had caused a water pipe to burst flooding the client’s office and server room. A large amount of their computer equipment including their servers had been damaged by the water.
Fortunately this client had a disaster recovery plan, they set up temporary offices in another location on the site which had not been water damaged. This particular client has the Databax Hosted VoIP system which meant that there phone system could be easily relocated to the temporary office space.
They also take Databax IT Support and Offsite Data Backup solutions which meant that they did not lose any of their essential data and we were able to set up the computer network in their alternative location with minimal delay. Consequently business was able to continue running with only a few days inconvenience.
Without the IT Support, Data Backup and VoIP phone systems provided by Databax this client may have been disrupted for a much longer period of time.
Databax can provide you with a comprehensive professional data backup solution to secure all your critical information and files. The data is encrypted and sent over the internet to our secure data centre facility.
We also provide hosted VoIP phone systems, the phone number and extension number of the phone are stored in the handset making it completely portable and easy to move to an alternate location. An added feature of our phone system is the web interface, allowing us to re-route your calls, for example, if your office building caught fire and the handsets were damaged
we would be able to login to the web interface and re-direct your business calls to an alternative VoIP phone, mobile phone* or landline number* ensuring that you do not miss any important calls.
A disaster recovery plan may be the difference between bankruptcy and the survival of your business.
* Additional call charges may apply
Databax offers professional data backup and it support solutions to individuals and organisations, please get in touch for more information using the contact form below or call 0844 543 7501