How will you protect your computers from a fire, hurricane, or theft? How long until your business runs smoothly again? What does your office do when there are no phones or internet?
The “Big One”
Fear of the “Big One” is rational. One quarter of all businesses never reopen following a major disaster and many more close in the following two years for secondary reasons. It’s not uncommon to lose clients as result of a lengthy recovery (ex: slow construction, delayed insurance payout) or the loss of key personnel who are forced elsewhere while the business isn’t operational. As if though obstacles weren’t enough, your business may also face legal repercussions in the event of data loss.
Business Continuity before Disaster Recovery
Many technology firms focus on Disaster Recovery because it’s easy for them to manage. Disaster Recovery is a very limited part of Business Continuity that deals exclusively with hardware. It asks the question, “How long before our servers transfer to our Hot Site?” The answer matters little if no staff member is available to use the server or if the Hot Site vendor also resides in the disaster area. Better questions might be, “Who is the vendor we’re trusting to save us,” “What does the vendor’s recovery plan look like,” and, “Have we trained our staff to use the Hot Site?”
Business Continuity not only makes us better prepared for disasters, but improves the delivery of technology services day-in and day-out. Since the focus is on the business, we’re forced to ask about proper documentation and potential technology-lite or technology-free work-arounds. For example, to improve Disaster Recovery, the business has moved to the cloud. While our risk of total loss from a disaster has decreased, our risk of every day loss has increased substantially. We must now be concerned with our internet speed, any unexpected slowness, and, of course, outages. What is our fallback to mitigate our losses?
Approach Technology Differently
Sherwood Chamberlain believes technology is an incredibly powerful tool, but it’s not the only tool. The fix isn’t always more technology. We begin a risk assessment of your business with this in mind. Will the increase or decrease of technology in a given area improve your business? What will it cost to support the technology versus what will you gain? Once we understand that, we can work with you to implement the right hardware, software, and support models. A big part of what we do is to work with management to understand and create good technology policies. We provide fail-over and work-around documentation for your business and then train your team members on it regularly. Most importantly, we test your Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plan annually and update it whenever a new technology is introduced.
It’s time for a check-up
Many businesses have an incomplete Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plan. They simply don’t know what technology they have or how that technology works. In some cases, they’ve never made a plan. In many, the plan is out of date. It was created a long time ago when the office was smaller, it lists the wrong vendors, and the servers no longer exist. Let us review your existing plan today. There isn’t any time to lose. Your business deserves a partner focused on results for your business. If you like what you hear, but you’re not quite you need Sherwood Chamberlain, enjoy our blog full of business-centered technology advice.