By Bob Milliken
Face it—downtime is depressing, frustrating and downright dumb since it can so easily be avoided. You can’t afford to lose business and customers because of failed computer systems. That’s why you need to know the different between disaster recovery and business continuity.
A lot of business owners erroneously believe that because they have a copy of their data somewhere that they must already HAVE a business continuity plan in place and could be back up and running again fast. Not true.
First of all, the word “disaster” indicates a situation where business systems are no longer functioning, or where data has been corrupted, lost or otherwise made inaccessible. That could be something as simple as a workstation or server experiencing a non-recoverable failure (thereby corrupting or deleting the data on it) or an office building being destroyed by a natural disaster. It could also be caused by a cyber-attack, disgruntled employee or any number of other unforeseen, unplanned events.
In many cases, if the data wasn’t backed up properly (in which case you don’t have a backup!), or if a business continuity system wasn’t put in place, several days or even weeks can go by while data is recovered and IT systems are rebuilt and restored. Essentially, business continuity systems are PRO-active, where disaster recovery systems are RE-active.
For example, having a second Internet connection would be part of a good business continuity plan if you’re highly dependent on e-mail and Internet access. If your main Internet provider was out, you’d have a way to keep working uninterrupted. Cloud computing is also often part of a smart business continuity plan. Your employees could continue to work remotely if your computer network became inaccessible for whatever reason.
Smart Business Continuity Planning
Business continuity starts with being sure that you can recover your data in the event of an unexpected disaster. A working backup system and your ability to be back up and running fast after a data-easing event is the key component of your continuity plan. We have worked with many small businesses are continually amazed to find that 90% of them don’t have one. It is equally important to have a rock-solid written backup-disaster-recovery plan. Without one the risk of business failure is very high. The good news is that doing just these two things alone will significantly mitigate risk of business failure.
A couple of months ago, I discovered a tremendous backup and disaster recovery system. At first I was skeptical that it could deliver the protection, security and business continuity that small business needs at a price that fits within their budgets. But after doing a ton of research and testing, I found that this incredibly low priced system is by far an absolute necessity for all companies concerned at all about securing their computer data and reserving their business.