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Is disaster recovery really necessary?

Risk management in your business

Every office or workplace is required to have plans in place for lots of possible things that could go wrong and cause harm to the business and its workers – fire, slips and trips, robberies and so on. You never want the worst to happen but in the event of a disaster, you’d be secure in the knowledge that the damage could be managed, minimised and contained. Yet many businesses surprisingly don’t consider an IT disaster recovery plan and, if they do, only a minority fully believe in its success.

This is startling considering the dire consequences of not being prepared. 60% of small businesses go bust a mere 6 months after falling victim to a cyber-attack. Putting preventative security measures in place is essential. But your business also needs to plan for what you'll do if one of those attacks is successful.

So let's look at whether your business really needs disaster recovery.

What is disaster recovery (DR)?

Disaster recovery is a strategic security plan put in place to limit or eliminate the damage from an aforementioned event. It allows you to respond to this unexpected incident. Often, you'll account for getting your business-critical systems up and running again.

What is in a disaster recovery plan?

Your plan should include a detailed, structured approach to resuming the full operations of your business. You should look at which operations, applications and infrastructure items are the most important and focus on getting them up and running again. It should also include a recovery point objective (at what point you should restore your files from) and a recovery time objective (a specific point in time - how quickly you expect to recover).

Additional considerations for your disaster recovery plan:

  • Resource - do you have the right resources to fully enact your DR plan?
  • Budget - have you budgeted for recovery in case of an unexpected incident?
  • Your people - are they a risk? Look at things like removeable hardware - thumb drives and external hard drives can be stolen or maliciously infected
  • Disaster recovery testing - how can you know if your plan will work if you've never tested it? Simulated events, like operating as if your office has been flooded, let you assess its effectiveness
  • Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) - if you don't have capacity to put together, test and carry out your business' DR plan, can you enlist the support of a managed IT services provider?
  • Backup software - you need more than a plan. Solutions such as Datto offer file backup as well as full virtualised environments to meet all your needs
  • Data centres - are yours on-site or in the cloud? How will you operate if something happens to them?

Business continuity management

According to a recent survey, only 35% of UK organisations have full confidence in their current disaster recovery and business continuity strategies (Databarracks).

When a large portion of your operations likely rely on your systems and technology, it’s vital that the worst possible scenarios that could threaten them are considered and prepared for. Yes, it may take some planning and a little investment, but in the long run it could really save your bacon.

Disruption to your business can be costly and IT downtime could have a real impact on your bottom line. According to our disaster recovery partner, Datto, a business will lose around £135,000 per hour of downtime on average. Can your business afford to take that risk?

Besides, it’s not just financial loss you have to worry about. Disruption to your day-to-day operations can also have a significant impact on your business’ reputation and customer satisfaction, giving your preying competitors the perfect chance to snatch away valuable opportunities. Without customers, you won’t have a business to run!

Risk assessment: address all of the potential threats

When you think of disruption to your business, it may be natural disasters that could affect your physical office that come to mind. In the UK, we know all too well that bad weather and floods can cause chaos if you don’t have a plan in place for your staff to work remotely (you can hear about our own experiences with Mother Nature and how we used our business continuity plan to prevent customer disruption here). However, it’s actually network outages and human error that account for 50% and 45% of downtime respectively.

The fact is, regardless of industry, no business is immune to IT catastrophes. You could have the latest, most sophisticated defences in place on your systems and highly skilled staff that have been rigorously trained, but network outages and human error are harder to control. It only takes one human mistake or an internet connection failure that is out of your hands to send everything into chaos.

Do I need disaster recovery?

So, to answer the question I posed in the title of this blog, yes… if you want to run a business effectively, disaster recovery is an essential you need to consider.

Disaster recovery goes hand-in-hand with business continuity so, when putting a plan together, you should utilise the knowledge of an experienced managed services provider like TSG, who also specialises in understanding your business operations in-depth.

Taking this business-first approach means no stone will be left unturned when it comes to implementing your IT disaster recovery strategy across your organisation.

It’s also important for you to know you’re in capable hands after the implementation of your disaster recovery plan. This reassurance will come in part from having the best technologies on the market, which is why we’re partnered with the leading expert in backup and DR, Datto, to provide you with robust solutions that are always one step ahead of the ever-changing threats that could affect your business.

Solicitor Chadwick Lawrence works with TSG as a trusted IT partner and can vouch for the importance of a robust IT disaster recovery plan. The company was hit badly by flooding which destroyed one of its key servers, and subsequently an electrical failure which took out its local storage area network (SAN). Despite this string of bad luck, Chadwick Lawrence experienced minimal disruption thanks to TSG and Datto’s services. You can read the full case study here.

By outsourcing your disaster recovery, you also get to benefit from our amazing people, who have a vast array of technical abilities and are committed to helping your business succeed. We weren’t awarded the Datto Breakout Partner of the Year Award for nothing! 

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