In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, businesses are looking to repair and recover, both physically and digitally. In times like these, the IT team may be putting in extra work and extra effort to not only get the company back up and running, but to do so with as little downtime as possible. Just because a business lost its office doesn’t mean it has to stop running in today’s wireless, mobile, and digital world. But this only works if the company has the technology in place to protect its most important resource – its data.
Forbes recently listed several ways schools can help their IT teams recover after Hurricane Sandy, but these same principles can apply to any business. For businesses, these helpful hints can be summarized with five essential aspects of disaster recovery.
Communication, not only between the company and its employees, but between the IT team, decision-makers, storage providers, employees, and other essential personnel, is key to disaster recovery. Staff members need to be informed of downtime and when they should resume working if they can. Executives need to be kept abreast of recovery efforts. IT needs to know what aspects of the business, and its related data, are a priority. Without communication, business continuity strategies cannot succeed, and this means keeping the lines open in both directions.
2. Know what disaster relief is available
Both internal and outside disaster relief may be essential to the recovery process. A business won’t be able to focus on recovering its lost data or restoring computer systems to working order without a roof over its head. The company decision-makers need to know what relief is available to them and take the appropriate steps to get it, while allowing IT to do their job and allocating funds as needed.
3. Establish essential systems first
Certain areas of a business are more important for operations than others. This is a simple fact of running a company. Sales and marketing may not need data restored as quickly as production and customer service do following a disaster, and IT needs to know what areas of the business are mission-critical and which aren’t. Executives need to make that call and communicate it clearly.
4. Focus on recovery
As data is recovered, a business will see other areas of operation come together naturally. The focus before a disaster is to get data backup software up and running, and afterward the focus is to use that software to return to operations. Off-site storage, such as cloud-based online backup, can be invaluable in these instances, as it provides instant access to data from anywhere. This way, even if the office infrastructure is down, employees may still be able to work.