For most modern companies, digital data is their most valuable asset. If your IT systems get struck down by a ransomware attack, widespread hardware failure, or a natural disaster, it’s imperative that you have a fallback to rely on. That’s because 40 to 60% of businesses that don’t have a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) strategy close their doors for good following a disaster.
A managed IT services provider like Frontline can create a plan for you that includes all of the most essential elements.
This one, alarmingly, is something that many companies fail to get right: It’s critical that you maintain full and up-to-date copies of data, not just offsite but also outside your region. That way, if a disaster hits your area, you won't lose all copies of your files.
For example, businesses located in earthquake-prone regions like Los Angeles should keep copies of data in other geographical areas rather than just a few miles down the road. To properly secure your data, outsource backup and disaster recovery to a provider that has redundancies located all over the country.
Clearly defined recovery goals
Every disaster recovery plan starts with a clear definition of what your business can afford to lose. The two most critical parameters in any BDR strategy are your recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO).
Your RPO defines the maximum amount of data you can afford to lose, which will, in turn, help you determine your optimal backup frequencies. Your RPO refers to how long it will take to recover your data and get your systems back up and running before suffering unacceptable losses.
Consolidation of digital assets
Today’s corporate computing environment looks a lot different than it did 10 years ago. Nowadays, businesses store apps and data across a wide selection of resources, including in-house workstations and servers, remote data centers, and mobile devices.
It’s much harder to ensure that nothing is forgotten and that files and systems are consistently backed up. By consolidating your digital assets, preferably under a centrally managed cloud-hosted infrastructure, it will be much easier to keep watch over everything.
Use virtualization technology
Any DR strategy should be able to adapt to changing business priorities, which means you need a flexible solution. For example, whenever you install a new system or service with access to company data, you’ll need to incorporate it into your DR plan.
When you have a consolidated virtualized infrastructure, it’s far easier to manage everything while allowing your employees to use their services smoothly. In fact, even if your primary workplace is rendered unusable, your employees will still be able to access their virtual desktops from their own devices at home.
Frequent testing and refinement
You need to create your DR plan with the belief that anything that can happen will happen. No plan is going to be effective if it hasn’t been thoroughly tested and updated as required. Always test your plan in real-world scenarios to make sure it works and that it’s capable of delivering on your RTO and RPO.
Remember that backup itself is only half of the battle. It’s equally important to ensure you have quick and easy access to everything, so you can get back to business as soon as possible. If you have a cloud-hosted infrastructure reinforced by a solid BDR plan, even the most serious disasters shouldn’t lead to extended downtime, and any disruption will be minimal.
Frontline LLC provides technology solutions and support that focus on maximizing productivity and security for peace of mind and unrivaled business performance. Contact us today to find out more.