Do you own or operate a business or organization? Then creating a sound and actionable disaster recovery plan should be a priority. Disaster recovery plans help organizations survive — and thrive — in the event of a natural disaster like a flood or fire, a cyber-attack, and anything in between.
A good plan outlines a process that allows organizations to quickly recommence mission-critical operations after a disaster, while concurrently preventing major losses in revenue and revenue-sapping slow-downs in operations.
In this way, a strong disaster recovery plan supports business continuity, which keeps all business systems up, running, and profitable.
And this continuity is critical — just an hour of downtime can cost a single small business up to $8,000. For midsized companies, this number jumps to $74,000. Larger enterprises can expect losses of up to $700,000.
3 Powerful Disaster Recovery Best Practices
With this in mind, it’s important for businesses to employ a series of best practices to keep their organizations protected — and operable — in the event of a disaster.
Following are some actionable practice your company can utilize to safeguard business operations, protect against lost data, and provide secure data and document backup for strong business continuity.
Data Back-up and Storage — Local or Cloud?
Your primary concern in the event of a disaster is keeping your data safe and available. Cloud computing is becoming ubiquitous in our data-conscious world, and it offers several advantages for disaster recovery, including:
- Automated backup of company programs and data off-site — programs and data can be recopied and restored quickly.
- Redundancy of data banks for maximum data security and availability
- High degree of scalability for ease of expansion
- Automated failover and failback activities
However, local storage is still valuable during disaster recovery efforts. For example, when internet connectivity or other disruptions to external networks are an issue, local storage remains the most reliable choice.
For many businesses, a hybrid combination of local and cloud storage may provide the greatest protection and the best fit.
Test Your Plan Regularly
You won’t truly know the efficacy of your plan in the face of disaster unless you test it. And, since business environments constantly evolve and change, regular testing is advised. For best results:
- Set clear goals and define specific key performance indicators (KPI) for your test
- Mirror the production environment as closely as possible with the testing environment
- Choose a test that takes your unique business needs into consideration: paper test, disaster simulation, or failover system check
- Complete a review of test results and update your plan as necessary
Continue testing at regular intervals to ensure system adherence, particularly after adding new services, changes in human resources, and after application updates and network infrastructure changes.
Consider Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)
If you don’t have disaster recovery expertise among your in-house staff, outsourcing to a DRaaS partner is a wise choice. In particular, a DRaaS partner can advise on best practices for your unique and specific needs to strike a balance between business requirements and necessary IT investments.
DRaaS will use cloud resources to ensure critical processes are backed up and available in the event of a disaster, creating a secondary infrastructure to protect your critical data. Your DRaaS partner can help define the maximum allowable data loss and keep you protected within those parameters, while continually consulting on changes as your business needs evolve.
A competent DRaaS partner can also conduct testing and provide follow-through updates and changes guided by test results for maximum security.
Kelley Imaging – Your IT Services Experts in Seattle, Washington
With over 40 years of providing IT Services, Kelley Imaging provides constantly evolving expertise in technology planning and services to businesses located in the Seattle, Washington area.
Our team of technical experts is equipped with the latest knowledge and tools to provide your network with the greatest possible level of protection in the event of a disaster — and keep your business running smoothly and productively.
If your business needs advice on how to develop, test, or implement a disaster recovery plan, get in touch with one of Kelley Imaging consultants today.