Disasters that threaten your business data can come in many shapes and forms. They can be accidental fires or floods that damage vital hardware, or incidents of human error that erase critical data. In the worst cases, your business may be the target of ransomware or some other cyberattack.
While these possibilities illustrate the need for disaster recovery, it is also possible for disaster recovery to become a runaway expense that exceeds its actual value, whether your business suffers a disaster or not. This is why it’s important to implement strategies that allow you to enjoy the benefits of a disaster recovery plan (DRP) while also keeping costs down.
What makes a DRP effective?
An effective DRP has the following components:
- Goals pertaining to the minimum acceptable time your business can be out of operation and the minimum amount of data your business can tolerate losing before operations resume
- Inventory of all physical and digital IT assets necessary to your business’s core operations
- Procedures that include responses to physical emergencies and cybersecurity threats, such as last-minute emergency backups and damage mitigation
- Recovery sites consisting of either physical data storage located off premises or a secure cloud from which you can restore your organization’s systems
Working together, these components can mitigate data loss following an emergency, as well as speed up the recovery process, saving your business time and money.
Cost-efficient disaster recovery strategies
Use these strategies to ensure your DRP is cost-efficient and effective.
Perform an audit
Audits serve multiple purposes when it comes to controlling DRP costs. Primarily, they identify how well your DRP complies with regulatory bodies such as the FDIC and specific regulations depending on your industry, such as HIPAA for healthcare. By knowing where you stand with compliance, you can better avoid fines, or at least account for them should disasters occur.
In addition, an audit can help you calculate the approximate costs of downtime per hour, reputational damage, and loss of consumer trust. These insights provide a clear picture of the financial repercussions a business risks without a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy.
While growth is good for your business, it also means you need more data storage, which could require multiple different storage sites. Storing your data at different sites can create complexity that slows down your recovery process and generates extra costs.
Simplify your DRP by consolidating storage into a single recovery site that you can access with ease and reliability. Opt for a data center or cloud that allows scalability, ensuring your business has a reliable data center that can expand as needed.
Automation is a powerful tool for cost reduction and disaster recovery. By automating backup and monitoring tasks, you save time and money, and enable your staff to focus on more complex projects. Because automation significantly reduces the potential for human error it also minimizes the risk of system outages.
Document your DRP
Fully document your DRP to avoid confusion during crises. Even with regularly practiced plans and robust training programs, there’s still a risk of on-duty staff not being clear on what to do. A well-documented plan ensures teams can act promptly, reducing downtime and minimizing the overall cost and impact on your business.
Remove unused assets
Over time, systems tend to accumulate data and assets that may have been useful at the time, but have since lost their relevance. Identify and remove these unused assets to free up space and reduce storage costs. Getting rid of these assets has the added benefit of giving you more space for disaster recovery storage. Likewise, the funds you save can be used to strengthen your DRP and invest in training for your team.
Create a new plan if necessary
A plan made years ago when your business was much smaller and patched together through occasional updates may be inefficient at addressing the current needs of your business. Think of it like an old car that has been repaired and updated too often and no longer functions cohesively.
Design a fresh plan that accommodates your current business operations while also being scalable. In addition, explore new options that may not have been available earlier in your business’s life.
Learn how to implement an effective DRP for your business. Contact Liberty Center One.