Data management – failing to plan is preparing for failure

In the 1980s, the idea of protecting your company against a data loss may simply have been a policy of “back that file up on a floppy disk”. Fast-forward a quarter of a century and the reliance on digital systems is so massive it is a safe conclusion to say that the vast majority of companies would be unable to function should their IT systems breakdown. With this in mind, two new business sectors have developed: Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery.

How does Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery work?

Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery are very closely linked and essentially describe a company’s ability to react and recover well in a time of crisis. This is achieved through the planning and procedures involved in Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery.

Effective examples of company’s adopting Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery work include:

Putting measures in place to minimise and eliminate threats to key personal and facilities;
Creating strategies to manage crisis communication;
Putting action plans in place to protect the reputation of a business in the aftermath of a disaster;
Preparing network communications and IT infrastructure so that a company is confident it can get back up and running as quickly as possible in a worst-case scenario.

The importance of Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery

An effective Business Continuity Plan and Disaster Recovery procedure can be the deciding factor between the long-term success or failure of a company. It is estimated that for every 20MB of data that is lost, someone would have to spend 19 days re-typing it, while nine in every ten companies that suffer significant data loss, without having put plans in place, go out of business within two years.

Key factors to consider when putting procedures in place

Scenario assessment – establish what the impact would be, before the disaster strikes;
Resuming business – put step-by-step plans in place detailing how to get back on your feet should the worst happen;
Data capture – take extensive measures to reduce the risk and amount of data that could be lost in a disaster;
Best practice for recovery – it is crucial to know exactly how you are going to implement your plans, often communicating across various locations;
Compliance – make sure your plans are in-line with regulations for safeguarding sensitive data.

Getting it right

Remember, reacting to a disaster effectively is crucial for business, but it also plays a significant role in the lives of all the staff associated with the company. When livelihoods are at stake, it is the company’s responsibility to get it right for the sake of its employees and its shareholders.

This business advice article was sponsored by Iron Mountain Incorporated.

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