Natural disasters seem to be more common these days from wildfires to flooding to earthquakes. These may not be the first items on your list of What Keeps Me Up at Night, and we certainly would not want you to lie awake worrying just because we mentioned it. But there’s a lesson in each one: No one anticipates these incidents will happen to them, and it’s always a shock when it does. But it’s a lot easier to recover when you have a plan in place to keep moving forward.
You may see where we’re going with this, but it’s the same with your company’s network. No one starts their day in the office by saying, “Today’s the day a pipe will burst, and flood the server room,” or “I bet a bag of microwave popcorn will catch fire and burn this place to the ground.” Instead we walk into the office and take whatever each day brings.
Anything can happen, and the amount of preparation you do is key. Here are four considerations to help you avoid the long-term effects of any disaster.
1. First of all, back up your network, regularly and completely. As we have already said, no one can predict the future. Your network is the trusted resource, and it may be hard for your business to cope if some or all data or functionality is lost or damaged. That can happen due to a hardware failure, either because of damage by outside factors or if the unit itself fails (hey, it can happen—more on that below). Another way your network server can let you down is because of hackers, who can infect your server with ransomware, or breach your security and steal important, valuable data. “Whenever something bad happens and they call us, we know our clients are in good shape,” says Scott True, COO of Axis Computer Networks. “But sometimes a call comes from a company that’s not a client, and we have to ask, ‘Are they backed up?’ If the answer is yes, we have a good starting point. When the answer is ‘no,’ or ‘we don’t know,’ then we have to figure out where we stand.” The time frame of the last backup will help you determine the data you have lost, and the degree of a setback the event has caused. And if the backup is from last night, well it may just be that, with some system checks, you can continue business as usual.
[Hardware failures are a fact of life. But today they can be easy to avoid with a server monitoring program. Not only will your network run more efficiently, but it won’t be hardware problems that slow you down. Learn more here.]
2. Plan for the disaster. Think about what could happen to your business, and put plans in place to mitigate the effects. Having a backup program in place is a great first step, but the more planned out you are for the days and weeks following an unplanned event, the faster your business will begin to emerge from its effects. Any recovery plan should include staff assignments to triage damaged or suspect data, and also a review to see if security was breached simultaneously. You cannot solve your problems without knowing their full extent.
[Disaster planning is part of any good IT strategy, and that’s where Axis Computer Networks comes in. We can help you and your team plan for any eventuality, and show you what the costs will be as you grow. Get in touch and make an appointment.]
3. Prepare your team. Depending on the scope of the disaster, be sure to communicate with your team to make sure they and their loved ones are all right. Rather than training your staff to use physical devices to back up their own machines, a network backup eliminates the headache of figuring out who was backed up properly and who wasn’t. Another advantage of a system-wide backup, it frees up staff to be ready to roll up their sleeves and get their parts of your business back to functioning normally. Understanding their roles in this window in advance of the crisis, will help them work effectively to shorten recovery time.
4. Communicate priorities to your team, and reach out to clients and vendors, when appropriate. When you know when your goods or services will resume normal delivery, or have a time frame and relevant details for recovery, it may be a good idea to share your plans.
[Axis Computer Networks uses its ProactiveIT approach to managed services to keep your network running smoothly. So you have time for more important things, like creating a disaster-recovery plan, and growing your business. Contact us to learn more.]