Have an IT Disaster Recovery Plan: Here’s 3 Tips to Get Started

Technology has become an important part of our everyday lives. For many, their businesses literally could not function without the help of computers and other technology. Store owners rely on their systems to keep track of inventories and sales; employees need computers for payroll, accounting and keeping in contact with clients; even schools require technology to communicate with parents, students and other educational institutions.

Without technology, life is just really tough! That’s why it is so important for businesses and organizations to create an IT disaster recovery plan in case something does go wrong with their computers or networks. It’s also important because most states require companies to have some sort of data backup plan in place before they can meet regulatory requirements and stay in business.

Here are 3 tips to help you get started:

1. The First Step – Defining Your Disaster Recovery Plan’s Scope and Objectives

One of the first things you will need to do is define your IT disaster recovery plan’s scope and objectives . You might already have a plan or manual that has been customized for your company. However, if not, then now is the time to sit down with your IT team and discuss what is required of them in the event that you have a major computer outage or malfunction.

2. Create Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

You might be thinking – “Why do I need an IT disaster recovery plan? My printer isn’t even hooked up to the internet!” – True, many businesses are still reliant on manual systems to keep things running; however, much of what we do in life is now tied into technology. These days our customers expect us to be available via email or social media, and they also want us to provide them with the latest information through the internet and mobile devices.

In order for you to meet their expectations, your IT team will need the right tools, hardware and software to get the job done quickly and efficiently. That’s why it’s important for your business to create service level agreements (SLAs) with your IT provider or internal staff. Here are some questions you can ask them:

· What is an acceptable downtime for you?

· How long do you expect it to take to restore your systems and/or files following a disaster or outage?

· Do you have the necessary hardware, software and manpower to meet these SLAs?

3. Research Disaster Recovery Tools & Technologies – But Remain Flexible

There are lots of disaster recovery tools and technologies these days, and it’s important to research what might work best for you before developing your IT agreement. For example, if your business requires mobile access to data and email, then an offline solution may not be the answer. If you use a lot of video or audio files in your company, then finding a provider that can accommodate this process should be a priority.

With so many different disaster recovery tools and technologies on the market, it’s also critical that you remain flexible during your selection process. There are never any guarantees that one particular product or service will meet all of your expectations. In fact, it is quite common for companies to select more than one data backup solution to ensure that they are prepared for any situation.

One thing remains true, though: you owe it to yourself and your customers to have an IT disaster recovery plan in place. These days, this is just one of the many things required to keep a business running smoothly!