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Everything you need to know about disaster recovery

Nick Amin KPMG

The importance of a disaster recovery plan cannot be understated, notes Nick Amin, CIO advisor at KPMG. That being said, it is shockingly common for them to be neglected throughout SMEs and larger businesses alike. Many business owners consider the amount of time that goes into the preparation of a disaster recovery plan to be wasteful, and work under the assumption that it would be a plan they would never need to implement.

This dangerous assumption has resulted in the demise of many businesses. In fact, over 90% of enterprises that have neglected their disaster recovery protocols, are out of business within just one year of being affected by a major data-loss disaster.

Whether you’re a humble start-up or a large business with over 250 employees, having a disaster recovery plan set in place is a matter of great importance. In this article, we cover 6 essential points that should assist in highlighting the necessity of disaster recovery, and the ways a plan should be considered and put into practice:

Understanding your options

There is a traditional process of protecting your business’ essential files. This involves the replication of the application state between two data centres, followed by a back-up site activating a new duplicate of the application which will be comprised of the most recently copied data. The efficiency of this process is substandard at best.

With countless businesses working with a heavily demanding data-load, and even multiple data centres, it is in their best interest to consider the most suitable approach to disaster recovery.

There are a wide variety of cloud-based alternatives available to the public, as well as a selection of trustworthy softwares, such as Peersoftware’s PeerSync and GuruSquad’s GS RichCopy 360. These softwares independently clone and protect your data, making them a true asset to any business.

What is a ‘disaster’?

There are multiple kinds of disasters that could put your disaster recovery plan into effect. These range from the devastating capabilities of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods and fires, to human disasters, which could account for anything from an egregious attempt at sabotage, to an accidental man-made error.

The future of your enterprise should be safe from any of the above, as long as you have a practical disaster recovery plan set in place. If you don’t, any disaster which results in significant disruption is likely to be the end of your business.

Forward planning

The ultimate goal of a successful disaster recovery plan allows for a seamless continuation of the businesses critical operations following a serious interruption. Critical technology infrastructure and systems within your enterprise should be guaranteed to recover or resume.

The initial cost of preparing a disaster recovery plan can seem off-putting, however, neglecting it’s development entirely, in favour of the belief that you will probably never need to implement it, is an incredibly dangerous idea. Without a disaster recovery plan, all it takes is one stroke of bad luck for your business to fall into disrepair. If this moment occurs, and you haven’t set a data recovery plan in place, it will already be far too late to do so.

The definitive back-up

Disaster recovery includes many vital aspects, rather than just being a glorified ‘back-up’; an outlook shared by many. It’s essential that your disaster recovery plan is adjustable to account for your developing enterprise. Your business may expand, develop more data centres or launch overseas, and it is imperative that your disaster recovery plan can adapt to these prospects.

Any monotonous manual changes can be avoided by simply incorporating a data recovery software into your business, as these services can easily account for an infinite amount of data.

Understand your own business

Essential documents and private data collections make up a great deal of the vast amount of data all businesses generate, however, when it comes to disaster recovery, all of your critical business functions are important.

An extensive review of all of your company’s core departments is essential in developing an exemplary disaster recovery plan. Every department requires thorough evaluation and consideration in the development of a disaster recovery plan. From accounting and finance to research and development; they’re all vital components and need to be protected from disastrous data-loss.

Ask for help if you need it!

Having an extensive business-understanding does not equate to considerable data recovery experience. Seeking professional advice is always a good idea when it comes to the importance of planning for disaster.

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