Have you asked yourself what happens if I lose my data? What happens if there is an IT disaster? What if the main server was unavailable for two days? Send everyone on a holiday paid by you!! These sorts of questions are asked constantly by business of all sizes. Most businesses believe that their IT reliance is protected because they do a simple backup. They may have an external hard drive or NAS system in place to receive a backup of the businesses main files each night. ‘No problem, our data is safe’. For some businesses, the above would suffice albeit an extremely limited solution. However, having a successful backup is only half the solution? You still have a journey to travel before your systems are restored. Data size, hardware problems and depth of the disaster all have a major impact. It’s imperative you understand the process and your obligations if a disaster were to occur. Think about your business and it’s It reliance and ask these simple questions; What legal requirements do I have with my data and at what cost to the business if we lose it? (remember anyone taking personal data has an obligation under the privacy act). Make sure you understand your legal requirements. Some businesses may be legally required to keep a safe copy of their data offsite. A good practise regardless is to keep an offsite copy of data. If there was a localised disaster, for instance a fire burnt your data, what cost will it have to your company? Losing your financial records or customer sensitive information has been the ruin for many businesses. How long will the restore take? This is a big one. I have seen companies close to breaking because they have a backup, but it’s going to take 4 days to restore. This is a problem which can easily be avoided but generally overlooked. Of course, the more servers you may have and the type of disaster, the longer the restore. Remember it’s not just restoring the data, it’s getting an IT technician out, possibly having to source and replace hardware and then restoring data. If you lost service at 1pm on a Monday afternoon, you may not even start the restore process until the following day! What processes do I have in place in case of a disaster? Understanding how long a restore may take will allow you to think about how your business will operate whilst a restore in underway. If you can operate effectively for the restore period without the reliance on IT then you should be OK, however if your reliance is heavy, then you need to find a solution. Luckily in this day and age, there are solutions that are available and aren’t cost prohibitive. For instance, you could use a cloud ‘offsite backup’ with a process that allows you to ‘hire a remote server’ until your local restore has been completed. The important part is to explore your options available for your business continuity. These basic but fundamental questions will help you not only understand how long an IT recovery will take but also reveal how reliant your business is on IT systems. After investigating these questions, you may find that your business may not be operational for a week, or even longer! Why risk your whole business on one single failure? Make sure you are prepared and you understand the impacts. You pay for insurance for people and physical items so why not data? A good disaster recovery plan is your insurance. SMART IT offers consultancy and products within the Disaster recovery arena. Feel free to contact us to receive a free consultation.