Written by Haydon Kirby, IT Account Director –25th November 2015

Why do you need a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)?

Ask yourself this question: “Can our business continue to function without the data, applications and current operations in place?” It’s likely that the answer is no.

There will be a time when your IT system setup will be at risk due to a user or technical error, a malware attack, the system being hacked or even a natural disaster, such as a flood. Without a solid disaster recovery plan in place as part of your business continuity plan you could be putting precious business assets on the line.

Modern day robust IT systems are generally reliable, however they can easily go wrong. Planning for disaster recovery ahead of these technical eventualities will save valuable time and money, plus give you added peace of mind that your business can continue to function efficiently no matter what.

Here’s our top considerations to think about when planning your disaster recovery plan.

1. Switch to cloud solutions

To improve overall security and reliability consider what business applications you could move to the cloud. Our cloud computing solutions offer a 99.99% service level uptime so you don’t have to worry about downtime disruption plus they have added security.

2. Implement virtualisation

We appreciate that some businesses will need to keep certain applications on-premise. However, to remove the reliance on any single piece of hardware you could consider implementing the latest virtualisation technologies such as Hyper-V. This cost effective technology enables you to create high performing and failsafe business solutions that won’t cost the earth. (Hyper-V is now shipped as standard with Server 2012.

3. Improve your connectivity

A strong internet connection is the backbone of a modern day business, slow connection speeds or downtime risks can be costly in the long run. With an increased amount of business applications and services now provided online, you could consider implementing leased lines which are direct fibre connections to your building and offer 99.9% financially backed service level guarantees but always back these up with a range of new technologies such as fibre broadband, 4G and EFM (Ethernet First Mile), these are fast, reliable and now affordable for all sizes of business.

4. Make the move to Hosted Telecoms

Aside from the cost saving benefits you can provide better quality and resilience by switching your phone calls from ISDN to over the internet using SIP trunks or a hosted telephony solution. These technologies offer greater flexibility and are easy to manage from a web portal should a disaster strike. You can also easily setup call forwarding to company mobiles as a backup without the need of any additional assistance.

Where do you start with disaster recovery planning?

Once you have considered the above you can begin to construct your business disaster recovery plan. As simple as this sounds, start by evaluating the core elements of your system setup and determine the importance of each one. You can then easily establish the likely implications should an element fail.

Instead of writing a large and complicated document, write your disaster recovery plan in the form of an easy to understand flow chart for each element so the core team know what to do in the event of a disaster situation. This will save valuable time and reduce stress at a time of crisis.

As a minimum, your core team should be able to answer these five basic questions.

  1. What happens to the business if there is a prolonged power failure in the area?
  2. What happens to our data and business systems if the office becomes flooded or catches fire?
  3. What happens to the business data if the system is hacked?
  4. What happens to the client data if the system is hacked?
  5. What prevents theft of our data should a member of staff leave?

Having a strong business disaster recovery plan as part of your IT Security strategy will prove invaluable.

Please get in touch to discuss your needs with one of our specialist IT Security consultants.