Article submitted by Grand Rapids Chamber Member, Max Gibbard of TeamLogic IT Grand Rapids, Michigan
Every business needs a disaster recovery plan. Regardless of your industry or location, the danger of losing your organization’s critical data is a serious concern. While a degree of risk is involved in decisions made in business every day, the choices managers make typically don’t jeopardize the future of their business. Not many entrepreneurs would knowingly drop fire or liability coverage, yet many companies operate without a viable disaster recovery (DR) plan in place to protect one of their most valued assets—business data and information.
The likelihood of your company burning to the ground or being decimated by a tornado may be remote, but catastrophes do happen and a business has to be prepared for these events. Consider the implications if your critical financial and customer data was lost and could not be recovered, or the information loss required the business to close for several days. Without an effective data backup plan and properly designed systems, the interruption and lost productivity could be disastrous. It’s impossible to put a price on the information stored in your company’s information systems but, with the right preparation you won’t have to.
A number of federal and state regulations require businesses to ensure proper information management procedures are implemented and that the steps are followed. For example, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was enacted to ensure proper business record management processes were being followed by publicly held companies. Similar regulations affect specific industries or markets, such as HIPAA (Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which protects and regulates medical information.
Remote Site Backup – Your Security Blanket
DR plans not only ensure a timely retrieval of information, but the continuity of your company’s operations. In order to maximize its effectiveness, at least one data backup system should be located off-site; in a separate building or with a third-party information specialist. While some organizations choose to place their off-site backup systems in their own facilities to maximize control and safety, assumed cost and security benefits may not be realistic. Third-party DR services invest in enhanced systems to manage and store business data for a number of clients, and offer security and other protections that could be cost prohibitive for individual companies.
Remember the Role of On-Site Backup
A more comprehensive option for on-site information backup is a NAS (network attached storage), which connects a hardware device and specialized software to a business network. Even with the implementation and support costs for trained IT professionals, a NAS system is a cost-effective solution for most businesses. These backup systems map all network-connected file directories and then schedule backup sessions based on the needs of the individual organization.
Build an Effective Disaster Recovery Plan
A disaster recovery plan should include a complete list of the precautions your company must take to minimize the effects of a disaster on the organization, as well as a detailed process for bringing critical systems back online. In many respects, the DR plan can be more important than the original business plan. For that reason, companies commonly retain the services of an experienced consultant to develop and implement the program and spend upwards of 25% of their annual technology budgets in this area. While that investment may be seem large, recognizing the importance of disaster recovery in your business and implementing a proper plan are invaluable.
TeamLogic IT of Grand Rapids, Michigan is part of a nationwide network of computer consultation and managed services businesses providing outsourced IT services. Small- to medium-sized businesses rely on TeamLogic IT to handle a broad range of services from urgent computer repair and proactive maintenance to the installation of entire networks and more. For more information, contact Max Gibbard at mgibbard@TeamLogicIT.com or visit www.TeamLogicIT.com.
Like what you’re reading? Check out our Chamber Blog to read our Member Spotlights, feature articles, and other great content!