Businesses of all sizes are relying on information technology more and more to complete their daily operations. They rely on the hardware in their workplace, including laptops, tablets and mobile phones. They rely on Internet and telephone connections for effortless communication, and they also rely on their business data that can be highly sensitive or fundamental for completing everyday tasks.

The creation of an IT disaster recovery plan is essential for any business that relies on technology to run their operations. Although a business owner will not like to think of an IT disaster occurring, the effects of one if not planned for, could be detrimental to their business. Many businesses are even forced to close their doors after such a loss, so consider the disasters that your business may become faced with, and the strategies that you will put in place to minimise the risks and or negative outcomes.

What is a disaster?

Disasters that effect information technology may be natural, technical or human in nature. There are risks of your equipment failing, service providers failing (including electricity and Internet) and hackers attacking your network. A risk management plan should be put in place to identify all of the possible disasters that could occur in your business. Their likelihood of occurring and the level of damage that they could cause should be identified, and then your plan should be created to minimise their risk.

When considering disasters, remember that technology is changing rapidly and that means that there are new problems occurring all the time. There are new viruses, new ways for computers to malfunction, and even new solutions for storing and protecting data. While there are constantly new risks, there are also new solutions. Stay educated about the latest in IT disasters, and the solutions that you can apply to your business to protect it from them.

What do I include in my plan?

An effective IT disaster plan will outline the steps that an employee should take in the event of an IT disaster. Designate key roles and responsibilities of your employees and outline the specifics of what they need to do if technology or data is compromised. Who should they immediately contact, and what should they tell them? What back-up plans should they put into action, and what is the crucial time limit that they will need to work to?

The relevant employees should be briefed before the event of an IT disaster and given ample opportunities to learn about and understand the recovery plan. They should be able to ask questions, test out the procedures and contribute any concerns that they feel might arise at the time.

Revision of IT disaster recovery plans is also essential, and the procedures and timing for this should be documented in the plan. Organisations constantly change their operations, staff members, and equipment, and a good plan will always allow for these new progressions. An old and outdated plan is never suitable for the time a disaster actually strikes.

Who can help me with my plan?

Your IT team, either internal or external, can assist you with your IT disaster plan and keep you educated about the risks and solutions that affect your business. There is no need to feel overwhelmed by threats to technology when you consult with professionals who are skilled in staying up-to-date with new trends and IT practises.

Hayden McMaster