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IT Disaster Recovery for SMEs – 3 Things to Consider

IT Disaster Recovery – a Rising Requirement for Small Businesses

The way in which businesses operate day-to-day has likely changed forever. 

It’s no secret that since the global pandemic, businesses have had to learn how to live with disruption – and learn quickly. The forced move to working remotely created an ongoing list of operational restrictions and hurdles to overcome. This also led to an increased number of cyberattacks carried out since 2020

As a result, businesses have had to consider business continuity and disaster recovery plans as part of their IT strategy. Given that 50% of businesses that suffer from a disaster struggle to reopen their doors afterwards, business continuity should be an integral part of any company’s strategy and planning. 

The results of a disaster without a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plan are usually catastrophic to business operating procedures. 

This is why you need to reconsider your businesses continuity and a disaster recovery plan. But what does this entail, and how can you begin to prepare for when something untoward should happen to your business and IT infrastructure?

3 Things To Consider for Your BCDR (Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery) Plan

There are three core aspects that strong BCDR plans always cover and strategically calculate for. Naturally, not all disasters can be fully planned for, however, focusing on these 3 aspects will help you roadmap a future post-disaster that keeps your business running and back on its feet.

Considering How Your Data Will Be Protected

While a disaster recovery plan might focus on the technological and process aspects of how your business will continue to operate post-disaster, a great BCDR strategy will align how the companies intellectual property and data are protected too.

This part of the plan will need to consider data backups, whether in the cloud or on managed servers by an IT company. This may also require tactics for data backups; how often they should be carried out, and how much resource they should use. 

It will also highlight a restoration plan for post-disaster operations, including how data is restored, and the resource and time needed to recover data to devices.

When considering how the data is protected, you must consider the frequency of unnatural disasters to hardware and software. These unnatural disasters might include system failures which can lose or corrupt data and hardware.

Often, businesses turn to cloud-based data protection systems to alleviate the pressure of losing highly sensitive data and company materials. Unfortunately, this isn’t always that easy, especially with staff saving documents to desktops. 

Resource Management

Something else to consider is what happens if your hardware is damaged. 

Data can be retrieved, especially from cloud-based data services, but it is important to make sure that your hardware is insured.

It’s worth paying close attention to what’s included in your insurance plan and whether your business continuity plan has accounted for the time required to acquire new hardware and await insurance claims.

A strong continuity plan can account for the associated costs, time spent as a result of the downtime and the lead times for new devices from suppliers. 

In doing this, your accounting team can also discern the required budget you would need to return to full operations after a disaster.

Requiring External IT Disaster Recovery Support

For smaller businesses, this step is often overlooked. 

The truth is, disasters can cause damages of up to hundreds of thousands of pounds. 

Just take the pandemic as an example: the mere fact businesses are being forced to adopt a work-from-home model, cyber attacks have grown by 600%.  Up to 90% of small businesses have been subject to a cyberattack, and there has been an alarming increase in the number of businesses falling victim to ransomware attacks. 

However, with more manpower or dedicated servicing through an IT support company, businesses can be better prepared for the worst-case scenarios.

What’s also important about an external IT service provider is the dedicated focus on IT-specific matters. This alleviates pressures small businesses often face, whereby internal teams or junior IT members are left with highly complicated IT queries to consider, without the experience to tackle them. 

By engaging an external provider to develop a BCDR strategy that aligns with the businesses goals and operations, businesses better safeguard their data, resources and future from potentially detrimental disasters.

BCDR Planning Goals to Consider

When writing BCDR plans consider the goals your businesses need to achieve. These will be similar to many businesses, but unique to your specific businesses IT infrastructure and operational goals. Typically, however, they follow similar patterns as follows:

IT Threat Tackling

Auditing the current IT infrastructure to help identify potentially harmful threats to business continuity in both the short-term and long-term. This can be a regular audit across cybersecurity, hardware management and office space threats.

Testing and Optimising

Plan into your BCDR plan regular business continuity testing and optimisations. This should occur at least once a year and follow a process relevant to your BCDR plan and business goals. For example, this may be because your business has recently migrated to cloud services and the BCDR plan was originally catered for internal servers and hardware,

Data Storage

Where is your business-critical data and resources stored? Are they hosted internally or externally with a trusted third party? Are they cloud-based? Consider how secure your data is and whether you are taking advantage of the best solutions to provide you with peace of mind.

Learn more about the benefits of IT Disaster Recovery Plans

Here at Firstline IT, our experienced team can support you with your business continuity needs to provide you with peace of mind about your network’s security. We can help to ensure that your business continues to operate smoothly and give you back time to focus on the most important aspects of your business.

Learn more about our disaster recovery services and how they could be of benefit to you, or contact us today if you have any questions.

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Existing customer: 01865 598 100

New business:01865 598 145