Disaster Planning & Recovery It’s about more than just having a Backup

Gregory T. Conterio

Hurricane season is in full-swing once again here in Florida, and while it has been quiet so far, the storms brewing right now in the Caribbean should remind us of the need to be prepared.

Hopefully you’re doing more than finger-crossing when it comes to protecting your business technology systems and your data. After Hurricane Wilma in October 2005, hundreds of businesses failed to re-open even after power was restored and damage had been cleaned-up. The problem was they were just not prepared to deal with such a natural disaster, and had no plan for returning to operation once things started getting back to normal. Disaster Recovery Planning is something we talk about a great deal in the IT business, and in places like Florida where we have a high probability of severe natural disasters for six months out of every year, the importance of such planning cannot be over-emphasized. There is much more to a Disaster Recovery Plan than simply backing up your data. You should begin with a worst-case scenario, and plan for all the steps you need to take to get back into business as quickly as possible, based on a realistic budget.

In addition to testing your backup system and confirming it is working correctly, you should give some careful thought to your Internet service. After a severe storm, it sometimes takes more time to get your Internet service back, even after the electricity is back on. If you are highly dependent on your Internet service, you need to have an alternative plan, in case your service cannot be restored right away. If you have embraced “the Cloud,” you need to consider whether your email, your data, or even applications you rely on might not be available, even if you are ready to reopen for business in all other aspects.

Competitive Edge Alert! – For many types of businesses, re-opening ahead of your competitors can allow you to grab additional business or market share from competitors who did not plan as well as you, and could not re-open so quickly. This makes Disaster Recovery a confirmed advantage for you. If you use a support or consulting service for your business technology systems, talk to them about helping you with a disaster recovery plan, or contact Greg Conterio at greg@giatech.net, we are always happy to help!

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