In today’s digital world, technology disruption for even a few hours can result in significant financial consequences to your business. It’s crucial for businesses of all sizes to practice IT Disaster Recovery Planning so that they have procedures and solutions in place in case of an emergency. In fact, according to Gartner, the average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 USD per minute or more than $300,000 per hour. For large organizations, that number tops half a million dollars.
Ensuring that your assets, data and hardware are protected is only part of a disaster recovery plan – the rest is determining a process for how quickly you can be back up and running. Rather than scrambling to put the pieces back together after a major storm or cyber-attack, smart businesses put a plan in place well before a disaster occurs.Here are the five key elements to think about when creating your business disaster recovery plan:
- Data continuity: Explore exactly what data your business requires in order to run, including what your organization needs to ensure successful operations, financial processing, availability of supplies, and communications. Grade each element in order of criticality, and identify the systems, staffing, and other factors that it depends on and influences.
- Communication plan and role assignments: When it comes to mitigating and surviving a disaster, communication is of the essence. A plan is essential because it puts all employees on the same page with clear procedures and contact information for key stakeholders and vendors.
- Detailed asset inventory: When it comes to a disaster and insurance, it’s crucial to have a detailed inventory of workstations, their components, servers, printers, scanners, phones, tablets and other technologies that your organization uses. This will give you a quick reference for insurance claims after a major disaster by providing your adjuster with a simple list (with photos) of any inventory you have.
- Plan for your equipment: It’s important that you have a plan for how to protect your equipment when a disaster happens. In-case of a flood, what equipment do you need to get off the floor? During a ransomware attack, where are your backups? Do you have a secondary backup?
- Backup testing: Regularly test to make sure that your backup is running as scheduled, and include running additional local and offsite backups on all servers and data in your disaster preparation plan. Run them as far in advance as possible, and make sure that they’re backed up to a location that will not be impacted by the disaster. If you are using a third party, are you doing regular backup testing with them? Do you know who to reach out to?
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In our digital world, disasters that affect our data and applications are a given. Whether it’s a deleted file, a ransomware attack, or a large-scale natural disaster, there are constant threats to IT infrastructure and the businesses that depends on them. But you can minimize the impact of an outage by making a disaster recovery plan and business continuity plan.
Download our free IT Disaster Recovery Plan Template to minimize negative impacts to company operations, people, and assets. Download now!
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