Disaster recovery has been around since the 1970s at which time companies started to see the dependence on their growing IT infrastructure. Disaster recovery is one of those things that every business needs but doesn’t always have.
What is disaster recovery? Why does your business need it? What constitutes a disaster?
We will shed some light on these questions and keep you more informed about this vital cornerstone of business practice.
What constitutes a disaster?
A disaster, in this context, is an unforeseen event that will disrupt the operations of your business. Not all disasters need to be on a large scale; disasters can occur through something as simple as spilling a cup of coffee on your laptop. More significant events, such as a burst water main, could lead to the closure of the building - potentially for an extended period. This would mean you would be without access to your business-critical data for a prolonged period. In the current climate of cyber-attacks, not all disasters are even physical. With a cyber-attack, your physical IT equipment could show no signs of a problem, while all damage is done internally.
So, what is disaster recovery?
Disaster recovery is the process of resuming standard, prioritised basic functionality immediately following a disaster. This is done by regaining access to business-critical hardware, software, networking equipment, power, data and connectivity.
However, if your facilities are damaged or destroyed, you will need to plan even further and consider options such as finding alternate work locations and sourcing anything from desks and computers, to transportation for employees. Disaster recovery should follow a documented, updated and tested plan. This is a set of procedures explicitly developed to prepare the organisation to recover in the shortest possible time.
As we have all found out in life, not everything goes to plan and so preparing for the worst while hoping for the best is often the safest course of action.
Why does my business need it?
As you have seen above, there is a lot to consider when there is a disruption to typical daily operations. These disruptions mean that your businesses productivity will suffer without a sufficient plan in place.
The ramifications of disruption to your business can extend beyond yourself and can affect your clients and suppliers. With all these things to consider, the problems your company would face can compound without having a sufficient plan in place, costing time and money while dealing with these problems.
Is disaster recovery the same as business continuity?
Disaster recovery and business continuity go hand in hand but while often mistaken for one entity, are not the same. Business continuity is restoring your business to a basic level of functionality and making sure that operations can continue while a disaster recovery plan is executed. Disaster recovery focuses on the process of getting the business back to full functionality, including IT and infrastructure. So, business continuity will help make sure you’re halfway there, but disaster recovery will take you to back to 100%.
Disaster recovery is a crucial part of a business in the modern age. Having the security that it provides and the understanding of what the processes will be, should the unexpected happen can grant peace of mind and save your company time and money.
Speak to your IT support team about what your company has in place to ensure that you keep going when everything grinds to a halt.