If your small or midsize business has already implemented a backup and disaster recovery plan, congratulations. Planning your course of action in the face of a man made or natural disaster requires careful analysis, assessment of risk, and identification of the elements critical to your business recovering quickly. Once the main aspects of your plan are in place, it’s time to take a quick look at the small details that may trip up your plan, and even increase the downtime you are trying to avoid.
Downtime is costly, and if your recovery plan misses these simple but critical elements it can take longer to get your business back up and running. In fact, a 2012 study conducted by Aberdeen Research Group found that downtime cost is increasing – by a whopping 65 percent on average for businesses surveyed between June 2010 and February 2012.
Alternate Authority Figure and Client Contact List
While backup and disaster recovery planning should include detailed steps and processes required to get a business back online and ready to operate, it’s little use without a readily accessible and updated list of clients. Having a list of names, account numbers, email addresses, phone numbers, and billing information at your fingertips is critical to minimizing service disruption when disaster strikes.
Another often overlooked element of backup and disaster recovery planning is naming an alternate authority figure to make decisions and get the ball rolling should your main business contact be out of reach.
Emergency Services and Insurance Communications and Contacts
Communication with emergency services personnel as well as your insurance company is vital when disaster strikes. In addition to having quick access to emergency after hours phone numbers for police, fire, and your insurance company, these organizations should also have contact names and numbers for both your main business contact and your alternate authority figure.
Alternate Inventory System Access and Order Entry
Though periodic backup often focuses on critical data storage, when a disaster occurs something as simple as the inability to access your inventory system can thwart attempts to minimize your downtime. While security of critical data is important, be sure your business recovery plan also includes a way to access your inventory system so you can continue to service your customers with as little inconvenience to them as possible.
Offsite Storage Site Selection
Do you know where your data is stored? While you may feel it is safe with “in the cloud” storage, securing your data in the face of disaster doesn’t end there. If your entire business is backed up to a server located in your local region, it’s possible that if a natural disaster such as a tornado, hurricane, flood, or fire occurs, it will not only affect your business but also your backup and disaster recovery service location. If you deal with a local company, ask where there servers are located, and consider choosing one with a non-local storage/server facility.