No business likes to think of their systems going down. At the end of the day, data is the lifeblood of a business and feeds into the vast majority of business critical applications. A study in 2014 carried out by Vanson Bourne found that 65% of businesses surveyed had experienced data loss and outage in the previous 12 months; it had cost Australian businesses $16 billion in that year alone.
Could your business critical applications be vulnerable to an extended outage or disaster at your primary infrastructure location? Systems may go down and you may end up needing to implement your disaster recovery (DR) plan. If this happens, it will help to know that you have a plan and that it has been well-tested.
A good DR plan should include six key elements:
- Redundancy: Server virtualisation has removed the need for duplicate server hardware, making redundancy more cost effective. It is now easier to shift key servers for additional capacity and maintain operations if primary systems fail.
- Business continuity: Many hosting providers offer highly-scalable platforms on which companies of all sizes can build DR environments. If a disaster occurs at the main business premises, key systems can be redirected to the hosted environment and the business can resume operations as quickly as possible.
- Documentation: It’s important to methodically document your IT infrastructure environment including related support and technical contacts, and server and application configurations. Developing recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPOs) is also key.
- Prioritised business functions: You should detail each IT function and the likely impact should it be interrupted. Mapping out internal dependencies and potential alternative suppliers or staff that can be brought on if necessary, can also help businesses function in the face of a disaster.
- Clear internal communications: Employees need to know what to do to resume operations as quickly as possible. It’s equally important to communicate with suppliers and partners to ensure all parties have active DR plans in place that offer support to one another.
- Testing and optimisation: Most importantly, when it comes to business continuity, it’s vital to test your business recovery plans in real-world scenarios and use the insights that emerge to continually optimise your DR plan.
To find out more, book a consultation here or contact us on 1300 500 000 today.