Preparing for the Worst: Disaster Recovery Planning for Your Business

16 June 2017

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.


"Emerald has become our go-to for all our technology requirements. If we think we need to address an issue, we contact them and explain, and they suggest a solution not only for immediate use, but also looking at the longer term picture for our business too.
They keep a constant eye on our systems and usage and suggest when appropriate courses of action should be taken to enhance our working environment"


"In the past, we had experienced problems with IT companies who had the ability over promise and under deliver.

This was not the case with Emerald. Emerald are now our trusted partner for all of our IT support needs. They offer honest, impartial advice that is delivered in a language even the novice can understand.

Having one number that our team can call with any IT or telephone concerns makes such a difference, especially when this is backed up with prompt resolution."

Richard Hall - Inn Express

"We've been working with Emerald for many years and their support has been invaluable on all aspects of IT from maintenance of systems & phones to new purchases and solutions.

Emerald are professional and their services are precise and innovative where needed. Their customer support is outstanding. Highly recommended."

Jeryl Stone - Hitchman Stone

"When your whole business rests on a cloud-based system, having a flexible, cost-effective, secure, and well- maintained solution is what helps you sleep better at night. That's what Emerald is here for"

Leech & Co Solicitors Data Centre Backup

If you would like a no-obligation chat about our services, please do get in touch.

Speak to Our Experts

Speak to Our Experts

Receive offers, promotions and updates. You can change your preferences at any time as per our Privacy Policy.*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.