In the wake of the devastating hurricanes in Texas and Florida, many companies are wondering anew: “Is our company truly prepared for a natural disaster?” Unfortunately, because we rely so heavily on technology to conduct business, having a clear and complete business continuity strategy and a disaster recovery plan is not just important, it’s absolutely imperative. Consider this:

  • Nearly 40% of small businesses are forced to close their doors following a disaster
  • Of businesses that close, only 25% are able to eventually reopen
  • 75% of small businesses do not have a disaster recovery plan in place

Luckily, business continuity strategy and disaster recovery services are specifically designed to help your organization recover quickly from any kind of catastrophe. What exactly does this mean? What steps should your organization take, and how can a disaster recovery company help your organization prepare for the worst? Here’s what you need to be doing and thinking about now:

  1. Write it down: Have a written business continuity strategy and disaster recovery plan in place. Review it regularly and make updates to it as needed. Ensure that all employees have access to the plan and understand how to execute it. Your disaster recovery plan should include all the steps you’ll need to take in the event of a disaster (break them out by type of disaster and extent of damage) and identify who will take the required steps.
  2. Prepare in advance: Often, disasters strike without warning. But in the event of natural disaster such as a hurricane, you often have time to prepare. If you know flooding or high winds may damage or destroy your place of work, you can take steps to ensure business continuity. Consider what equipment you can move to a safer location and assign employees to handle the physical task. If you have identified a temporary work site (see below), you can take steps before the disaster to prepare that location.
  3. Identify alternate work locations: Where can you set up shop if your office is physically destroyed by water or fire? Include names and addresses of potential sites in your disaster recovery plan. Also consider: Can employees telecommute and access the server remotely? If so, they can work from any safe location, which will greatly aid in your efforts to get your business back online quickly.
  4. Necessary equipment: What equipment will you need to get back up and running quickly? How many workstations? Printers? How will you obtain the needed equipment and who will set it up and get everything back online? What software will you need to install on the machines? Ensure you have a budget set aside so that you can access funds immediately, as insurance claims can take time to process. Be sure that you note in your disaster recovery plan who is responsible for each task or responsibility, including names and contact information for each individual.
  5. Remote access: Do you have everything stored in a remote or cloud-based server? How often do backups occur? Are updates performed regularly? Does someone monitor the automatic backup system to ensure it’s working properly? Storing company files solely in an on-site, physical server is a recipe for disaster in its own right! In the event your building is damaged or destroyed, your entire company—and all its data—will be lost forever. Remote-server backup can prevent just such an occurrence.
  6. Re-establishing communication: First and foremost, when disaster strikes, you’ll want to make sure that each of your employees is safe and accounted for, as well as advise them of how and when to report to work. Ensure you have anywhere access to the names and contact information for each one of your employees (as well as their emergency contacts).
  7. Consider timelines and contingencies: How long will it take to complete the above steps? What happens if the individuals tasked with getting your business back online or your equipment hooked back up are unavailable? Have you tested the plan? Consulted with experts to ensure it’s adequate?

Are You Ready?

How much downtime can your business afford? How much will one hour, one day, or one week cost your business? Do you feel prepared? Business continuity strategy and disaster recovery services from managed-services providers like Real IT Care can be just the peace of mind you’re looking for.

Rather than take on the tasks above internally, you can hand them off to a team of experts who will constantly monitor and update your system and perform regular backups as often as every 15 minutes. IT companies with managed backup services have the knowledge and manpower to manage these business-critical tasks to ensure your organization can recover quickly.

Small Business IT Support – Other Ways We Can Help

In addition to dedicated server backup, IT business continuity strategy companies have a help desk and team of engineers that can help you design and implement a plan to protect your most critical systems and get them back up quickly. Need to get set up at an alternate work location? We can help set up your workstations, install software if needed, and get your employees connected to the server so you can back to work!

Let us do what we do best so that you can focus on what you do best—running your business! Call Real IT Care today to discuss your business continuity strategy and disaster recovery plan needs.