Did you know that 75% of SMBs have no business continuity plan in place at all? That’s a staggering percentage, given that eventually, disaster in one form or another is bound to strike, and your company will face significant downtime.
When that happens, if you don’t have a robust disaster recovery plan in place, your business may never recover. In fact, according to FEMA, 40% of businesses never reopen at all in the aftermath of a disaster.
There are a couple of important things to note here: First, even the best computer backup, conducted at regular intervals is no substitute for a having a complete backup and disaster recovery plan. It’s a good start, but a backup is one piece of the disaster recovery puzzle. Among other things, you’ll need to consider:
- Having a means in place to rapidly deploy new servers in the event that they are destroyed outright, or if your location suffers from a long-term power outage.
- Having the ability to configure the new hardware such that it mirrors the settings of your old equipment.
- Having the ability to rapidly reinstall and reconfigure all software needed to properly access your data once you restore from secure data backup, so your business can actually start functioning again.
The next thing to consider is that where backups are concerned, both local and cloud backup systems have inherent flaws and limitations. For example, if your business is physically destroyed, and your backups are all stored locally, odds are they’re gone too. On the other hand, if your only backups exist in the cloud, and you have no power, then your data won’t be available until you have a means to access it.
Ideally then, both from a data protection standpoint and from an IT business continuity standpoint, a hybrid backup system is the best and most efficient means of protecting your business.
This sees you conducting a computer data backup locally at regular intervals, but also utilizing a secure online backup in the cloud, such that your critical data is stored in both places.
When disaster strikes, if your local backup is available, you can use it to get up and running again quickly. If your local backup was destroyed, all is not lost, and you can access your most recent backup from the cloud as soon as your new servers are online, or when power is restored to your business location.
Another essential element in building a robust business continuity plan is to understand two key values: Your company’s RTO and RPO.
RTO stands for Recovery Time Objective. This is some amount of time (typically measured in days, but in some cases, measured in hours) where your business must be back up and running if you want to avoid catastrophic losses.
RPO stands for Recovery Point Objective. This is a measure of the maximum amount of time your company can stand data loss.
In other words, RTO sets the stage, letting you know in clear, definitive terms how quickly your staff must get your company minimally functional again before you risk losing everything. RPO defines how frequency you must take backups, so as to minimize data lost in the event of a disaster. Armed with these two pieces of information, you’ll be able to begin constructing a viable business continuity plan.
By taking all of these things in to consideration and applying the right pieces to meet your objectives, a backup and disaster recovery plan can be written specifically for your business. If all of this seems overwhelming, our team can help. We are experts in data backup and disaster recovery planning, and can help you create a plan that keeps you ready and prepared should any disaster strike.