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Constructing your IT Disaster Plan

September 04, 2014

A disaster recovery plan is important for all businesses to have. An additional IT plan can be critical to your company in the midst of a crisis.

It has become more and more important for companies to be able to recover from a disaster, especially when it comes to their technology. An effective IT disaster recovery plan can prevent both physical and internal loss or damage, help you get in contact with your employees during an emergency, and get your company up and running faster and more efficiently.

What should an IT Disaster Plan include?

Strategies should be put in place to prepare for the loss of the following system components:

  • Hardware- servers, computers, wireless devices, networks.
  • Connection to a service provider- wireless, cable.
  • Software applications.
  • Conditions in the computer room- Power supply, climate control.

To construct your IT Disaster Recovery Plan, you should:

  1. Take an inventory of all the hardware, data, and software applications in your office. In the event of crisis, it is important to have a concrete list of all systems and devices that could potentially be affected by the disaster.
  2. Make sure all sensitive and important information is backed up off site. Be sure to regularly back up all the data on every device in the company. Many companies have installed a "company cloud" system which effectively backs up any software installed on the server or computer.
  3. Recognize the data and hardware necessary to run critical software applications, and make sure that copies of the software are available in the event that you have to reinstall after a disaster.
  4. Identify your most important IT components in your business. These will take priority in the recovery process.
  5. Be sure that you have a well-trained emergency response team for all IT issues. Make sure that you have a contact number to call in case of IT emergency. Also make sure that you have numbers that you can be reached at during an emergency.

Be sure to test out your plan to make sure that in case of IT emergency it will operate correctly. You will obviously not be able to perfectly replicate a disaster, and the stress that comes with that disaster, but by reviewing your protocols and running through the steps in your plan, you will not only ensure that you have your bases covered, but you will be better prepared for a time when this may not be a drill.

Pay attention to trends

Businesses have found that it is important to stay up to date with current trends in the IT industry. Technology is always changing and advancing and excited new trends in the industry could change your IT disaster recovery plan for the better. Mobile devices make communication, especially mass communication, easier in times of crisis. In the same manner, social networking can help with communication with both employees and the world in general when it comes to crisis management. It is important to alert your employees in times of IT disaster - so communication through these means could be fast and easy.

Recovery strategies

If your company has already endured an IT crisis, there are a few specific precautions your business should take. If your business has more than one facility, make sure you back up your data to that site so that after disaster, you can access your files at the other facility. There are also vendors that can provide your company with "hot sites" which are fully developed data centers with commonly used software and hardware products. These "hot sites" can be accessed at the main business location.

IT disasters can be stressful, to say the least, but as long as you have a set plan and ways to implement it, as well as a team ready to assist you should you need it, your business can make it through! For more information on constructing your IT disaster recovery plan and recovering from an IT disaster, contact us.

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