Business Continuity planning is critical to your business
Although we all think about this necessity after a major natural disaster like a flood, or a hurricane, it is something that needs to be included in your day-to-day operations. In the simplest terms, it even needs to be considered for everyday type tasks like upgrading your computers.
If your business is considering taking advantage of the lower prices on technology and looking to upgrade your current business systems or purchasing new computers – a business continuity plan should incorporated into your plans. Part of your continuity plan should be the task an inventory of what is stored on your hard drives. You will probably find that you have to make some decisions about what documents, data, and applications you want to transfer and what data you should store and archive.
Every business has lots of precious data we are hanging on to such as digital audio and photo files, videos, documents, presentations, PDFs, spreadsheets, old email, mailing lists, and favorite website links. In addition, there can be application data such as newsletters, special business fonts, clipart and animations, business checking, accounting or general ledger data, programming source code, etc.
The challenge facing a business is selecting the most effective backup method for each of these data types and developing a schedule to continually perform these tasks to back-up your business data and them where to store this information.
Fortunately, there are several options from which you can choose.
For those home based users that do not generate a large amount of data, you may be able to use your computer’s CD-RW (read-write) player to back up your data, use a centralized hard disk, or a server. What ever media is used you need to test the media after you create/back-up to make sure they are usable. You can also use one of the many low-cost storage options that are network based (“CLOUD BASED”).
Which ever one you choose – use it and make a schedule to follow this process repeatedly.
For larger home and office based-businesses the challenge is to develop a program that covers your key business information and employee business information, as well as where to store it, how to test it and how to recover it when needed.
The question facing every business owner is: Do you do it yourself (DIYS) or do you outsource it?
We recommend starting out by making a list: Include: email accounts, word-processing documents, PDFs, presentation files, music, logo’s, contracts contact lists, and spreadsheets and/or accounting files, group your files by project, year, or file type. This is where you will be amazed at the vast amount of information we need to run our businesses and envision what the impact would be on your business if it were lost in a disaster…would your business survive?
Whatever strategy you use to backup and archive your data, make sure you select a plan that supports the value you place on the data you’re protecting. Make sure you can test the validity of the backed-up information and that you have a plan in place that can restore it in the event of a disaster. Finally, you need to be able to retrieve your business files easily for transfer to new hardware for your plan to be effective.
Now the “big decision” … do we do it our selves or do we outsource it?
The recommendation for this business owner is the same as the small home based business: What ever direction you choose – get started, follow a schedule and incorporate it into your business processes.