How a disaster recovery and backup plan can help save your business in an emergency
As a business owner, the idea of business continuity is generally not top of mind in the course of your day-to-day activity. Yet, when disaster strikes, your entire operation may come to a screeching halt. The cost of lack of preparedness may be catastrophic, perhaps even to the point of shutting down the business.
In considering continuity, we must emphasize the difference between backup and disaster recovery. A backup solution will allow you to recover your data, from periods of time ranging from minutes to hours to days to weeks, or even longer. However, a backup solution does not recover the applications or hardware that allow you to access and use your data. Disaster recovery solutions, on the hand, allow recovery of the ability to access and use data and thus continue business operations. Your business continuity strategy should encompass both backup and disaster recovery components. Solutions abound, but what is the best fit for your business?
First, you must ask yourself, how much downtime can I tolerate? This is referred to as the Recovery Time Objective, commonly referred to as RTO. How long can you be down before the business impact is significant? You may say, I cannot tolerate any downtime at all. Most business owners would probably agree with you on the face of it. Realistically, though, you have to consider that the shorter your tolerance for downtime, the greater the cost of the backup/disaster recovery solution. Sure, you ideally do not want any disruption at all, but maybe you can tolerate some downtime and it would not be too big of an impact to your business. Different types of businesses will have different tolerance levels than others. Ultimately, you as the business must answer this question as a first step in the process.
The next item to look at is, how current must your backup be? This is known as your Recovery Point Objective (RPO). Can it be from last night, a couple of days, a few hours, or must it be a few minutes? Again, there is an inverse relationship to cost. The more current that you need your recovery point to be, the greater the cost of the backup/disaster recovery solution. If your business documents change constantly throughout the day, and you are constantly under deadlines as part of your workflow, having a shorter timeframe such as an hour may be the best course of action. On the other hand, if documents generally do not change that often in your workflow, perhaps a day’s recovery point may be sufficient. It is different for every business, and you as the business owner need to decide what may be an acceptable Recovery Point Objective.
Now that you have determined your Recovery Time Objective and Recovery Point Objective, it is time to engage an IT Provider to work with you to determine the right backup/disaster recovery solution for your business. IT Providers work with businesses on a daily business and have expertise with a variety of backup/disaster recovery solutions. You need to work with a company that you comfortable with. Total Cover IT prides itself on understanding the business perspective in assessing your situation and will create an individual backup/disaster recovery plan specific to your needs. We understand that no two businesses are the same, even if they are in the same industry. Each business has its own individual needs, which means that each business needs its own individual plan. If and when disaster strikes, do not be caught in a vulnerable position with regard to your technology needs. Please call our office today at 800-580-8248 to discuss your backup/disaster recovery plan options, or visit our website at www.totalcoverit.com to learn more!