Are your software and systems ready if disaster strikes?
When was the last time you thought about the software and systems you access each day to run your business and where your data is stored? If disaster strikes such as a hurricane or fire, what backup systems or processes do you have in place to keep your business running?
Hurricane Katrina forced us to put together and document a business continuity / disaster recovery plan after experiencing power outages and employees working from local coffee houses or remote cities. When Hurricane Gustav hit we were able to execute plans with minimal down time. Knowing that a hurricane is on its way gives us the opportunity to be prepared.
What happens when a laptop battery catches on fire at the office? Our developers experienced this first hand. Hearing the crackle and seeing sparks turn into flames puts a whole new perspective on your priorities. Having an emergency response plan helps employees know what to do and how to recover.
Here’s a helpful checklist of some steps to take to be prepared.
Top Ten Suggestions for Business Technology Recovery
- Make a list of all technology hardware, software and licensing information and know how to reach them if needed.
- Develop technical recovery procedures to be followed in the event of an interruption
- Determine and list individuals (employees/vendors) to manage recovery of your systems
- Determine source for back-up technical resources (PCs, servers, printers, etc.)
- If you have custom developed software be sure you have access to the source code, ability to rebuild and reinstall the application
- Document critical data to be restored and backup all data at off-site location
- Prioritize order of systems to be restored – Email, Accounting, ERP software / Custom Business Applications, Word Processing, Spreadsheets, etc. What’s most important to get your business operational as quickly as possible?
- Establish a process to follow to run your business when systems are down. This can be paper forms or onsite computer systems and train staff on the process.
- Communicate status regularly to employees and clients as you bring systems back on line
- Create list of key clients, suppliers, and critical recovery contacts and store copy(s) offsite