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Data Disaster Can Strike Anytime : Be Prepared

Aug 25, 2008
When the topic of disaster crops up, it's common for people to assume that it couldn't happen to them. It hasn't happened before, and everything has been running smoothly. Plus, we haven't experienced any signs of impending disaster, so why worry about it, right? However, for plenty of small businesses and Internet technology departments, this overly-optimistic view is something they've learned to regret. Many people who are dilgent about preventative data recovery measures have learned the hard way. Every year, according to the BIC (Business Continuity Institute), around 1 in 5 companies will face a data disaster due to loss of power or a natural phenomenon.

Consider the consequence. In this day in age, when the IT network has become an essential part of practically all small businesses, a huge disruption can equal massive loss of income, considerable added expense, a sudden lapse in productivity, delays and possibly even a hit to your customers' perceptions of your accountability. This type of situation will have negative effects on relations with partners, creditors, and suppliers. The right preparation is a solution in advance. An implemented data recovery plan can ensure that the company continues to operate after even an especially bad incident. There are some main points to consider:

Impact Analysis

An analysis can help managers identify priorities for an effective recovery plan. For Internet systems, an analysis is valuable in that it shows which systems your critical business applications are running on, and vulnerable areas within the environment.

It's important to not underestimate how important backup efforts are; a virus, human error or water leak can all destroy your data just as easily as a fire or tornado. A complete strategy for data backup is key, particularly for small businesses. The best strategies include data prioritization, regular testing (to be sure backup efforts work properly), and off-site storage.

After the work of research and development, when a preparedness plan for recovery has been implemented, there's a natural reaction to want to call it finished and take on another task. But the IT system must continually evolve along with your business. The Internet technology team should continue to implement new ways to maintain and test the disaster plan.

Small businesses often choose to go to service providers for assistance with their data recovery and disaster prevention needs. Often, these companies can simply choose the appropriate solution or upgrade to keep pace with business requirements. These specialists have the experience and understand the effective solutions to recommend to the customer.

Organizations which have a strategic outlook toward your business goals, a complete assessment methodology and ample experience should top your list of firms to work with. Other factors to consider include remote management abilities, experience, and a solid record for preparedness plans and recovery efforts.

With these strategies in place, you'll be ready when disaster strikes, considerably reducing the negative effects of the event and keeping operations working. Instead of placing your hopes in luck alone, apply some thought and effort into backing up your work and developing a recovery plan which will leave you unscathed in the event of a distastrous event.
About the Author
Nick Pegley is VP Marketing for All Covered: Technology Services Partner for Small Business, providing disaster recovery solutions and technology services in 20 major U.S. metro areas.
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