We recently started with a new client who breathed a big sigh of relief when we successfully backed up his systems.
“Thank, God,” he said. “If our system servers went down we would be screwed.”
He got that right…
…except for the big sigh of relief.
I explained: Backups are critical, but they’re just the first step to mitigate disaster.
Without A Disaster Recovery Plan, Your Business is at Risk
Even with backups, it can take many hours — or even days — to restore systems that crash. If you don’t have place in place to mitigate risk and to recover when disaster strikes, your down time will increase.
“How would it impact your business if no one could access your system for two days?” I asked.
He frowned and got that look on his face that people get when they’re processing a really sad memory, “It happened before, and it was terrible. We had to take orders by hand. We couldn’t process credit cards. We lost sales due to customers getting frustrated. After we got the servers up, we worked for days to enter all the hand-written orders and process the sales.”
Backups Should be a Last Resort
Backups are critical… just in case.
But the best approach is to have systems to prevent outages and crashes in the first place.
You need a disaster recovery plan that prevents problems and clearly outlines steps to take if issues arise.
Do Not Store Equipment in Just One Location
Our new client had all its servers and backups in one location.
That’s a recipe for disaster. A fire, tornado or even a malicious employee could take down their systems…
…and then what?
They would have to get a new server to their location (can you say, “COVID-related supply and delivery delays?”). And then they would have to restore from a cloud. That restoration could take a day or two (after the equipment has arrived and been installed).
We recommended that the client create a virtual, cloud-based server and replicate it to a second location. Many software vendors offer cloud-based solutions so you don’t have to run on a locally hosted server.
Disaster Prevention and Recovery is Worth the Investment
These cloud-based options cost and require planning.
But you achieve immediate return on that investment. You have the peace of mind that comes with a more secure system.
Without a good plan, it’s not a question of IF you’ll deal with a disaster. It’s a question of when.
Why live with that worry?
And why incur all those costs that come with days of downtime, frustrated customers, and scrambling to fix what broke.
STR Creates Customized Disaster Prevention and Recovery Plans
All businesses have unique setups. So all businesses need unique disaster recovery plans.
We help our clients develop customized plans that fit their unique situation.
Those plans have many elements, not discussed above: Spare equipment, redundant internet connections, alarms and alerts, and so forth.
Good plans should be well documented and assign clear responsibilities for both the client and IT provider. Both parties should have a copy of the plan and it should be reviewed every 6 months.
If you develop a good plan and invest in the infrastructure to support it, you’ll rest easy knowing that your system software — and your critical business functions — will continue to operate smoothly without interruption.
Concerned about your back-ups, don’t have a recovery plan?
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We’ll customize a plan to keep you productive during the day, and sleeping at night!