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Preparing for the Worst: Disaster Recovery Planning for Your Business

The IT issues that grounded around 75,000 passengers is set to cost British Airways at least £80m. The chaos was caused by an engineer disconnecting a power supply and the subsequent power surge as a result of reconnecting it. The incident highlighted to a lot of smaller businesses the vulnerability we all have to IT problems and the potential costs involved. In a recent disaster recovery meeting we had with a financial services firm, they calculated that losing operations from two crucial departments for a day could result in claims for hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation. Those two departments could not wait more than 4 hours to be back up and running in the event of any outage whatever the cause: power surge, hardware failure, ransomware virus, flood, or fire. 


Disaster Recovery Planning for A Small Business

This is where we start with our disaster recovery planning. There are multiple options available and it all hinges on your business critical operations and how soon they need to be operational again. Here are some points for you to consider:

  • Phone lines: What would happen if there was a BT issue in your area? Do you need an instant failover for incoming calls? Some diverts can take up to 24 hours to process
  • Internet: How long can your business function without internet? What processes do you have in place for an outage of 4 hours or more that could effect business critical operations?
  • Email: Where is your email hosted? If it's on premise, what plan do you have in place for fire, flood, hardware failure, power surge, or an outage? Incoming email would stop delivering so where do you need it to be sent to?
  • Data: Where is your data stored and how is it backed up? In the event of a disaster, failure, surge, or virus; how quickly would you be able to restore business critical data? Do you need a 'cold' or 'hot' standby? A hot standby is an instant failover with live data, where as a cold standby would require up to 4 hours of prep work and is as up to date as the last back-up
  • Process: Do you have a clear disaster recovery plan? Who are your emergency contacts? Which departments are crucial and would need to be operational within 4 hours? What equipment and access do they need?

There are lots of things to consider and cost is crucial to any disaster recovery planning. For us at Emerald, it is always about helping you get maximum return for minimal cost. The frst step is to identify your key departments and the cost of having them non-operational for 4 hours, 24 hours, and then 72 hours. From here we can advise you on the best options for your IT recovery.

We are offering a free Disaster Recovery Plan Template easily tailored to your business so please email for your copy.


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