Given the importance of technology in how many businesses, hospitals and other organizations operate, it’s essential that disaster recovery best practices are utilized. Throughout the years, we’ve learned the effects of manmade and natural disasters on different businesses’ operations. Major events like Hurricanes Sandy and Irene as well as wildfires in the Pacific, blizzards in the Midwest and tornadoes in the Bible Belt have shown the power of Mother Nature. These events have caused destruction and disruption in service of many businesses, but it’s not only the big events that can cause havoc. A fire in a data center or flooding due to a leaky pipe can cause just as much disruption. That’s why it’s important to have good disaster recovery. So what would that entail?
- Testing is Paramount: Planning is important, but if you don’t have testing in place to make sure that the plan works, it will do you no good. ISO 22301, a standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization, emphasizes the importance of testing for disaster recovery. You can’t have quality disaster recovery without checking on it often. It’s the failures that mandate necessary changes. The plan is important, but you won’t have successful disaster recovery without testing.
- Compliance is a Necessity: Depending on your industry, you’re bound to have governing bodies that regulate your business to ensure protection and continuity in the face of disaster. For example, if your business or organization is in the healthcare industry, HIPAA stresses certain standards that must be met. Failure to do so will result in hefty fines and penalties.
- Don’t Put Your Reliance on IT: Your IT budget is probably stretched as it is. There’s no question that the economic downturn hurt many businesses, and you may have had to reduce labor or space. Your management should have an idea of what is going on with IT and be able to make key decisions and create strategies to ensure disaster recovery. In that same regard, shareholders and other entities should be aware of these practices and strategies as well. You may want to consider a third party vendor that specializes in disaster recovery to minimize costs and ensure compliance.
Good disaster recovery involves many steps. There’s no question of its necessity, given the many things that could go wrong. An outage could prove to be detrimental to any company or organization that experiences it. This checklist is a good way to ensure you’ll be up and running in the face of adversity.
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Chuck Stevens is an avid blogger always looking to share his experiences and recommendations. He increasingly interested in new technology and how it pertains to different industries. You can follow him on Twitter @chuckstevens12.