By Ali Sajadi
Disaster recovery is an integral part of a Business Continuity plan. It is a reactive approach that focuses on managing business processes and operations after an event has occurred. Its goal is to restore an organization to business as usual with a minimum amount of damage and with a minimum of down time. Managed IT Services
Why is Disaster Recovery Planning Important?
Businesses are dependent on technology for their day-to-day operations and in the service to their customers. An interruption to business functions must be returned to normal as soon as possible to avoid severe financial losses and the compromising of their reputation.
Disaster recovery is technology-focused and focuses on the risks to an organization’s technology infrastructure. Disaster recovery remains an important aspect of an organization’s business continuity strategy because:
- Businesses are heavily dependent on IT. Failures in IT will most likely affect most core business functions
- Failures in a networked, workflow-type of environment can compromise many other departments and units
- IT environments have become increasingly complex and inter-related. This leaves numerous points of entry for potential failure
- Without a properly planned disaster recovery plan and properly trained staff, a business can experience complete failure within a matter of hours or days.
Disaster Recovery and IT Services Tools
A qualified IT Consultant can help your organization assess your vulnerabilities, prepare a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, and actively participate in your on-going disaster recovery prevention and action strategy.
Some of the tools that IT Consultants can help you with include:
Backup tools: Data backup software is an important requirement for any organization. Professionals can help you select the correct software for your organization and keep it current with updates and patches.
When considering your disaster recovery plan look for an IT consulting firm that offers multiple, co-location data centres with desk space. This will ensure you can continue your critical business processes in an extreme event.
Monitoring tools: Professional IT consultants possess the technology, skills and applications to monitor your network and computers 24x7x365 and respond to any potential risks before they affect your business.
They are able to identify your recovery time and point objectives (RTO, RPO) inline with your budget.
Replication tools: There are many applications that can provide your organization with a near-time copy of your environment at varying price points.
If you don’t have a disaster recovery plan, or business continuity strategy, just think about how well your business would fare if you had no access to your computers, files, or network. With a little planning and training, the losses from a data failure could be greatly mitigated or avoided altogether.
Ali Sajadi is Vice President of System Architects (www.systemarchitects.ca), a Toronto-based IT Consulting firm specializing in small- and medium-sized business information technology.