Like flood-proofing the basement, a backup management plan might be one of those things your business thinks it will get around to but never does. Then, when your data is breached—or water starts pouring into your rec room—you suddenly realize the importance of having a backup management plan.
Whether you’re adjusting a sump pump or planning for data recovery, the time to do it is before a crisis happens, not as a reaction to it.
In the world of I.T. solutions, having a backup management plan can prevent the loss of crucial data, give you vital insurance during cyber attacks, encourage client loyalty, and save you thousands of dollars. Here are some of the key components that an ideal backup management plan should include:
Ensuring Your Data Is Safely Backed Up
In the event of a disaster, whether it be a technical issue like a hardware malfunction or something like a building fire or power outage, you’ll need to have a recovery plan in place for your data. Start by taking an inventory of your hardware, including servers, computers, wireless devices, and software. You should have a strategy to ensure that critical information on each of these is backed up.
A quality I.T. team can help you configure a reliable backup mechanism that will allow you to recover all the data in everything from a single file to an entire server. There are many options for this, from off-site centers to backup software. With modern advances—like cloud computing, for example—backing up your crucial data can be done remotely or automatically. You can even deploy a hybrid solution, backing data up both online and elsewhere. Having a plan in place for this goes a long way to letting you breath more easily.
A Plan for Business Continuity
Okay, so you have a strategy for data backup. Great. However, backup management also requires a continuity plan, so that your company can minimize downtime and get back to work as soon as possible.
The best way to do this is to design a strategy using Intelligent Business Continuity standards. Why? It’s the fastest, most comprehensive way of getting up and running. Instead of using conventional backup methods like software or online-exclusive, many companies are turning to IBC, which allows for critical data to be stored in off-site data centers. The process is fully automated, and both transfer and access happen rapidly. This can potentially restore your operations in just minutes.
Data loss can throw a wrench into your company’s functioning. So a solid business continuity plan calls not just for reliable methods of accessing that data, but for getting your operations and applications back on track and your customers satisfied.
A Strategy for Testing Effectiveness
Here’s a secret: a strategy is only valuable if it works in practice, not just theory. For this reason, it can be a good idea to test your data backup strategy on a regular basis. Just how regularly is up to you, although some companies choose to run tests weekly, monthly, or after every major automatic data backup. This will identify any gaps in your recovery process, but also help you feel more confident that you and your team will be fully competent in the event of a real crisis.
Have Access to Quick and Efficient I.T. Assistance
Knowing who to call in a crisis can be a big help too, even if with a pre-organized backup plan in place. If you’re outsourcing your I.T. help, ensure your team has contact information and knows who they should be speaking to and under what circumstances.
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There’s no way around it: losing business data can interrupt your daily workflow at best and be a major crisis at worst. When everything is running smoothly, it’s easy to forget that this is a potential occurrence, but when it actually happens, even successful businesses realize they’ve neglected a crucial business decision and suffer the consequences.
The time to build a backup management plan is before disaster strikes. A good I.T. service can help you create a plan that addresses your company’s unique needs. Ideally, a backup management plan should include a strategy for safely and securely backing up data, a way to recover it efficiently, and a step-by-step guide for keeping your other business operations on track while you’re taking care of implementation. You should also have a method for testing it effectively, so all necessary team members are familiar and comfortable with it in the event of a real emergency.
At the end of the day, you wouldn’t have a business without a plan for fire evacuation, and you shouldn’t have one without a plan for technical disasters either.