The Hostway Blog

Tips for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning

In today's business environment, there is a whole host of incidents that can interrupt a company's daily operations. However, with constantly rising client demands, businesses cannot afford any stumbles, even for a moment. This is where business continuity and disaster recovery plans come in, and they are becoming increasingly critical to implement before a disaster strikes.

Why is BCDR planning so important?
So many different kinds of events can have a negative impact on an organization's ability to function, and not all of them occur in the digital sphere. Inclement weather, a fire or a break-in could make the company's office uninhabitable for an extended period of time. In this type of event, it is key that the business has a plan for how to remain up and running.

"Since all of the risk cannot be eliminated, companies are implementing disaster recovery and business continuity plans to prepare for potentially disruptive events," noted Ideal Integrations. "In the event of a disaster, the continued operations of your company depend on the ability to replicate your IT systems and data."

A BCDR plan includes all relevant aspects of an organization's technology infrastructure, and will also outline what preparations employees should make ahead of time, how the group will respond to the event at hand, and what steps will be taken to restore business processes.

While BCDR planning is key for any size enterprise, Clare Computer Solutions contributor Bruce Campbell pointed out that it is especially important for small to mid-size companies. Statistics from the Insurance Information Institute show that 40 percent of all SMBs close their doors for good after suffering a disaster. Additionally, Symantec research found that many organizations don't currently have a BCDR plan in place, leaving them unprepared to deal with any kind of damaging event.

"Financial ruin can be avoided by spending time creating a plan that is well thought out and regularly updated," Campbell wrote.

What to include in BCDR plans
What to include in BCDR plans
Overall, Campbell advised that any policies or arrangements connected with BCDR be centered around keeping employees productive through the availability of phone lines, Internet, company information and applications. In these regards, connectivity is key: The organization must be able to launch the technology-based resources that are critical to its function in today's business environment.

Campbell recommended including five important elements in BCDR plans:

  1. Data backups and remote information storage access
  2. Replacement communication avenues - phone, email and Internet
  3. Designated key employees that will help implement and foster the plans
  4. A predetermined offsite location for physical hardware elements
  5. A list outlining the specific jobs workers will be responsible for

As it is nearly impossible to perform regular tasks without the proper technology in place, one of the most vital parts of BCDR plans is a partnership with a hosting provider that can ensure the availability of mission-critical systems from any location. With Hostway BCDR solutions in place, company leaders need not worry about accessing important content from outside the office, allowing them to instead focus on keeping operations humming along in the face of a disaster.