Disaster Preparedness for Your IT Systems

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The saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” With the recent outbreak of tornadoes in the midwest, and the start of Hurricane Season, it’s well worth applying that ounce of prevention to make sure your IT system is protected and you have a disaster recovery plan in place.

  1. Assess your current plan. Conduct a business impact assessment that prioritizes critical processes for the entire organization.
  2. Take steps to protect data. Companies should back up data regularly and frequently to ensure that data integrity and applications are not jeopardized.  Store copies of data off site, at a remote location separate from the primary data center.
  3. Review power options.  Add independent power supplies to keep the most essential applications running. In addition, cooling systems should be supported by backup generators. Temperature spikes can cause unplanned interruptions when operations are most critical.
  4. Create a cross-functional preparedness team. Your team should be able to design and test the preparedness plan, as well as execute your recovery plan to restore function after any disaster.
  5. Document, test and update. The disaster preparedness plan should include logistical details, including travel to backup sites, and even who has spending authority for emergency needs.
  6. Consider telecommunications alternatives. Following Hurricane Katrina, many organizations lost access to reliable telecommunications equipment for days. Alternative communications vehicles, including wireless phones and satellite phones, should be considered.
  7. Form tight relationships with vendors. Hardware, software, network and service vendors can help expedite recovery, can often ensure priority replacement of telecommunications equipment, personal computers, servers and network hardware in the event of a disaster.

 

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