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The 7 Things You MUST Include in Your Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan

business continuity planningIs your business prepared to weather an information technology disaster?

It’s more than just putting money aside to repair your computers if they break down. Imagine how much time you might lose if you couldn’t use your every-day electronic systems: being unable to access your important client records, kept from accessing your email or the Internet, or even having no access to your office phone lines when customers are trying to reach you. The more time you lose to a data emergency, the harder it is to recover, and the more likely you are to never bounce back.

That’s why your Eastern Ontario business needs a well planned Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan. Onserve in Eastern Ontario can help you ensure your business is prepared for any level of disaster and able to recover quickly and easily so you can keep working even in the worst conditions. Call us at (877) 996-6622 or send an email to sales@onserve.ca to learn more.

When you put together a Business Continuity and Disaster Preparation plan for your business, you need to ensure that you include these 7 items to be fully prepared:

  1. Make a simple step-by-step plan in plain English.
    • Work with your IT support company to make a step-by-step plan for everyone involved in your business, from the C-level executives to each member of your staff.
    • Keep the instructions in plain English so everyone knows what to do and when to do it if you’re working to recover from a disaster.
  2. Prepare for the little disasters as well as the big!
    • Don’t just plan for earth-shaking disasters like hurricanes and fires! You’re far more likely to experience small every-day disasters like a spilled cup of coffee on a server, or an accidental deletion of an important file.
    • Ensure your staff knows to treat little data problems with the same care as big ones, and that you immediately work to recover any lost data to prevent any downtime for your business.
  3. Back up your data and systems onsite AND offsite.
    • Make certain you have a regular backup process in place that stores your important data and systems in a device in your office, so you can easily restore your important information if needed.
    • Also send backups to a secure offsite cloud-based facility, so if something threatens the hardware in your office, like flooding or fire, you can still easily access your backups via the Internet.
  4. Don’t just save copies of your files; IMAGE your systems.
    • It’s important to do more than just copy the files on your systems. Imaging your systems means you take a virtual picture of your hard drives, which saves all your applications and system settings.
    • When you restore an imaged drive, it’s like you’re starting your systems up without any change from the last time they were saved, down to your router and firewall settings.
  5. Virtualize whatever you can.
    • If you move some or all of your important IT systems to a cloud-based virtual environment, you can access them securely online from any computer connected to the Internet.
    • This means that even if your office is damaged or destroyed, you can use the exact same systems and data from any location you need to, whether it’s at home or on a laptop in a temporary office.
  6. Test your backups regularly!
    • Don’t just trust that your backups worked because you receive a report saying they did, or because your IT department believes they’re set up correctly.
    • Make sure you validate every backup to prove that nothing was lost, so that you don’t wait to find out something went wrong when it’s already too late to fix it.
  7. Run a mock recovery at least once a year.
    • Just like you should test your backups to make sure they worked correctly, you should also do a dry run of your entire recovery plan to prove that it will work.
    • Involve everyone in your business and actually use your backups to do a restoration, so everyone knows how the process will work and can be prepared to take part in the plan if it needs to happen.

The team of experts at Onserve in Eastern Ontario can help your business implement these important 7 steps to ensure you’ll be able to quickly and easily recover in the face of any disaster. To learn more about the services we offer during National Disaster Preparedness Month, call us at (877) 996-6622 to book a free no-obligation review of your business’s disaster preparation.

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