To see the value behind a disaster recovery and business continuity plan, think about Monopoly.
Yes, the board game.
When you have the “Get out of jail free card,” you don’t worry about landing on that square.
Without the pass, you’re forced behind the board game’s bars. As you sit around, your competitors snatch up properties and money.
There’s a parallel with business continuity and disaster recovery.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans Protect You Against Lost Revenue
Natural disasters, cyberattacks and random accidents can knock your business offline. You have no idea how long you’ll be down.
As you sit around and wait, you lose business
Any prospective client who calls or emails while you’re down will reach out to a competitor. Clients will get frustrated too and may view you as an unreliable partner.
A Microsoft Office 365 backup is not the same as disaster recovery
Backups are critical. But, they are not an action plan for bringing your business back to life after a devastating incident. That’s what business continuity and disaster recovery plans are for.
Get 30 days of backups built into your solution, for free
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Get an Effective, Affordable Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan
The efficacy and affordability of your plan hinges on who you partner with and the solution you design.
2 questions for your potential partner
1. How quickly will you get us back up and running?
You could have the best plan in the world. If your partner is unresponsive, it won’t matter. You’ll suffer unnecessary losses.
At Zimcom, we offer a 5-minute failover promise.
During a worst-case scenario, you want a quick resolution, quick recovery solution for mission-critical systems. That’s why once our Disaster Recovery service offering is initiated, we can failover a customer’s server to the cloud in 5-minutes.
2. Are there ways to keep costs in check?
Below, we talk about controlling costs based on the solution you design. Depending on who you work with, there are other ways to get an affordable plan.
We don’t charge for your first 30 days in the cloud.
If any of our clients have to failover to the cloud during an emergency, the first 30 days are free. Always. This is not baked into most solutions. If you go with Microsoft, Amazon, or Google, you will pay for every second you’re in the cloud.
8 questions to work through with your solution provider
1. How much data can you lose? (Your RPO)
To design an appropriate, practical and affordable business continuity and disaster recovery strategy, decide how much data your business can lose and still survive.
Let’s say it’s 4 hours.
In that case, your solution provider would know that you need backups every 4 hours and configure your solution accordingly.
Your solution provider might refer to this as RPO, or recovery point objective.
2. How long can the business be down? (Your RTO)
When we say down, we mean access is completely shut off. No LOB software, email, network files – nothing. Like figuring out how much data you can lose, you are balancing the cost of the solution versus the cost of lost time when you answer this question.
A single day of downtime devastates large, multinational organizations. Hundreds of thousands of employees won’t have anything to do. Deals won’t close. Order processing and invoicing jobs can’t happen.
On the other hand, a small business might be able to get through a day of downtime without any severe consequences.
Your solution provider might refer to this as RTO, or recovery time objective.
3. Should certain apps and systems come back online first?
Email is critical for most businesses, but you probably have apps you use less frequently that you could live without. Strategically working through what to bring back, and when can help reduce costs.
4. What happens if employees can’t come to the office?
Granted, this is less of an issue post-pandemic but there are still logistical questions to work through, like will employees who spend all or some of their time in the office have access to all the equipment they need?
5. Are specific conditions required by partners, clients or your cyber insurance policy?
Cyber insurance companies, vendors and clients increasingly demand that businesses prove they have a business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place. No plan. No contract.
Proof requires more work than ticking a box. You are asked for specific details about your plan. It’s a document we help clients complete and can help you, too.
6. Who informs clients and partners?
Designating a single point person to talk to clients and partners lets you control the flow of information and present an image of stability in the midst of a crisis.
7. When was the last time you revisited your plan?
Operational changes – like moving to the cloud or letting employees work from anywhere, will change your plan. At a bare minimum, review it annually.
8. How frequently do you test your solution?
Again, you should test your solution at least once a year. If you’re in a regulated industry, you may need additional tests.
We test our clients’ plans periodically, based on compliance and business needs.
This Isn’t a Game of Monopoly
Unlike randomly drawing the “Get out of jail free” card, solid business continuity and disaster recovery plans do not happen by chance.
The only way to minimize downtime and losses is to work with a solution provider who will take the time to craft and test a solution that’s right for your business.