Is it me, or are natural disasters becoming more common these days?
Whether from global warming or other factors, what is clear is that disasters happen. And with our businesses increasingly reliant on digital technology, in many ways we’re more exposed than ever to the effects of disasters.
With that in mind, here are seven ways that a business can help prepare itself for effective disaster recovery:
Cloud services. There are many advantages to the cloud, but one of them certainly is the distributed nature of cloud services. An outage in New York, for instance, does not need to cripple business functions that run on the cloud. Every aspect of a business that can be moved to the cloud is an aspect that will have continuity and resiliency in the face of disaster. Think about the difference between an on-premise email server and Google’s (News - Alert) Gmail, for instance. Only one of those two will keep on humming even if an office goes down.
Virtualization. Along with the cloud, it now is possible to package just about any IT function within a virtualized environment. This enables rapid recovery, as virtual appliances and services can be turned on and off and moved around much more efficiently than physical IT resources.
Power backup. If there is one certainty about natural disasters, it is that electricity will often be impaired. While uninterruptible power supplies will not always enable a business to keep functioning as if there was no loss of power, they do allow at least for the opportunity to ensure that all critical hardware is shut down properly, data is preserved, and key business information is extracted from systems before the lights go out.
Mobile computing. Mobile computing is resilient computing. Along with moving to the cloud, having a flexible computing architecture that includes data and hardware mobility will serve a business well in the face of disaster. This means ensuring that employees can perform their jobs from mobile devices, which will often need to be the case if there is a significant disaster.
Telecommuting options. Having a telecommunications program in place serves many benefits, but one of them certainly is preparation for when there is a disaster. If employees are already trained and ready to work from home or out-of-office locations, a disruption due to natural disaster doesn’t have to pose a great threat to productivity; workers just go into telecommute mode en masse.
Managed disaster recovery. Experts have found that having a third party handle disaster management in the face of a crisis is useful. These third-party disaster-management firms both have experience and a measure of objectivity when bedlam strikes. Firms that will particularly suffer during business downtime will want to consider looking into managed disaster-recovery options.
Define recovery point objectives. Knowing what kind of recovery is needed will go a long way during the face of an actual crisis. It is important to know how quickly systems need to bounce back, and to what levels is necessary after a crisis. This, then, can clarify what steps must be taken to properly ensure continued operation in the face of a crisis.