disaster recovery

What is Disaster Recovery and Why is it Important?

There’s a buzzword that’s emerging as the business world adapts to the post-pandemic environment: resilience. The rush to work from home, the unprecedented drop in customer activity and a rise in cybercrime and online criminal activity have created a perfect storm. Organisations in Brisbane and around the world without sufficient business continuity measures in place have been found seriously wanting. One of the most important aspects of this continuity is Disaster Recovery (DR).

What is Disaster Recovery?

Disaster recovery is your organisation’s approach to preparing your IT infrastructure for recovery from an incapacitating or severely disruptive event. Closely linked to cyber security, it’s about minimising impact and getting your business back on its feet as soon as possible.

The event itself could be a natural disaster such as a flood or a fire that destroys a business premises. It could be down to human error or a rogue employee, a massive technical failure or a cyberattack or hack.

Disaster recovery incorporates processes and policies an organisation follows to recover from this event. It’s the path taken towards normal IT operations being resumed, data access restored and equipment, networks and power re-established.

Why is Disaster Recovery so Important?

Businesses of all sizes are increasingly dependent on technology to support customers, create revenue and provide their service. You do your best to keep your systems and network safe and insured, So when your IT environment gets disrupted, the effects are far-reaching:

– Private data can be lost or compromised;

– Customers are inconvenienced due to crucial business processes being hindered;

– Available capital is negatively affected;

– Longer and more disruptive downtime hurts your company’s reputation;

The key to a successful disaster recovery plan is to minimise disruption and restore business operations in the shortest time possible. Here’s what you need to think about when devising your disaster recovery plan.

Developing a Disaster Recovery Plan

Identifying Critical Data and Digital Assets: It’s important to state that all your business data should be thoroughly backed up, from mobiles to laptops and servers. Disaster recovery focuses on the data and processes that you require to continue functioning as a business. Identifying these helps in planning your recovery.

If you’re in retail, it’ll probably be your cashier system. If you’re a medical centre, then patient records and bookings are the most essential.

Establishing Disaster Recovery Roles: It should be known beforehand who’s responsible for implementing and managing the different aspects of the recovery plan. Roles need to be defined and communication channels put in place.

Evaluating the Risk: Develop an understanding of the main risks your business is exposed to. If you know what type of disruptive event to expect, it’s easier to plan for it. Are you in an area with frequent natural disasters? Plan accordingly. Would a cyberattack be particularly harmful to your operations? Put the necessary measures in place.

Budgeting: Run the numbers because your budget will be central to informing your disaster recovery strategy. With this in mind decide on the following:

Recovery Time Objective (RTO): This is the maximum limit to the downtime a business can face due to a disaster.

Recovery Point Objective (RPO): The frequency of backups required to ensure the necessary data can be recovered within the RTO. 

Understanding the Disaster Recovery Tools Available

The above points will lead to a better understanding of your business requirements in the event of a disaster. Then knowing what tools are available for disaster recovery will help you select the ones for your business. The following are three terms you should have an understanding of:

Cloud backup: A cloud-based, offsite backup of critical data, applications and systems.

Cloud disaster recovery: When an event disrupts your business, this allows you to recover critical data quickly and remotely.

Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS): An external provider will run an organisation’s services in an off-site cloud infrastructure. When a disaster affects an organisation’s servers, they can continue operating seamlessly from the external provider’s location.

Failsafe Disaster Recovery with Smile IT

Brisbane companies in all industries, from hospitality to law, retail and everything in between, are turning to managed service providers like Smile IT for a Disaster Recovery Plan. We have partnerships in place with global tech giants that make high-end data protection and recovery software and systems available to Australian businesses at affordable prices. We also have an expert team with a deep understanding of disaster recovery processes. We can partner with your company and work with you to assess the risks you face and how they shape your recovery plan. We’ll identify the critical data and processes that should be restored as soon as possible after a disruptive event. And we’ll be there to make sure the whole restoration process is seamless.

If you have any questions about data backups, resilience or disaster recovery, please get in touch with Smile IT. We’d love to help improve your business continuity.

peter drummond

When he’s not writing tech articles or turning IT startups into established and consistent managed service providers, Peter Drummond can be found kitesurfing on the Gold Coast or hanging out with his family!