Since September is National Preparedness Month, there are a few items to consider that will help you be prepared if an IT Disaster strikes your business. The best way to think about this, is to imagine a day when you walk in the office and find the door ajar. Someone has broken into your office while you were asleep. The next thing you check is your computer room, you peak your head in and you are looking at an empty room. OK, what is your plan? How long will you be down? What will that mean to you and your business? Who will call?
Here are the 5 things that will help you to be prepared for such a disaster and to answer these questions:
1. Have Documentation for All Your Systems
Having good documentation is one of the keys to quickly recovering from any type of disaster. You should have a list of all your systems, vendors, software, and hardware. When disaster strikes, you will know exactly who you need to call without needing to search all over for names and phone numbers. Good documentation also allows you to put your systems back together quickly. No time is wasted trying to remember what software was install on each system or how the network configured.
2. Review Your Business Insurance
If you have not reviewed your business insurance policies lately, now is a good time to do that. Like IT systems, your insurable assets are always changing. IT hardware and equipment is a big part of your valuable corporate assets. Knowing exactly what you have and making sure it is insured is part of any prudent business plan. We keep an up to date inventory for all of our customers as part of our Total Care Service plan.
3. Secure Your Data
Something many business have not considered lately but need to consider is insurance for a data breach. All businesses today are targets for hackers and subject to attacks. Not only can hackers gain access to your data and ruin it, they can also take it if they are able to gain access. Depending on what kind of data you store, a breach can be very expensive. If your network is secured and you follow certain policies, an insurance provider can actually offer you very reasonably priced data security insurance. Going through this process cannot only get you the insurance you need but more importantly, protect you from the loss in the first place. To secure your network and data you will have to go through an exhaustive checklist of policies and procedures. ITSG can help you with all of this.
4. Write a Simple Disaster Recovery Plan
The process of writing a Disaster Recovery plan may sound daunting but a simple one is not only possible but extremely helpful. The best way to start is to take two or three scenarios and think about exactly how you will handle each one of them. Here are two to consider: First, what if you your server crashes and will not come back up? What do you do on that day? Do you have a backup of all your data? Where is it? Who will restore it and how? Second, what if there is a fire or other physical disaster at your site? Do you have your backups stored offsite? How long will it take for you to get it all back? What are the procedures and who will execute them? Also think about how long you will be down in each of these scenarios. Is that OK? Can your business be without IT systems that long? What are the ramifications to that down time? If you don’t like the answers you get, we can help, give us a call.
5. Consider Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is often the solution to all the problems listed above. By moving all your computing resources to a secure, fully redundant data center you can solve all these problems at once. There used to be many road blocks to implementing a full cloud IT infrastructure. Today, most of those roadblocks are gone and it is fairly easy to migrate everything to a data center that is fully accessible from anywhere on any device via the internet. ITSG can help with our Total Cloud (Click here to learn more) solution.