It is great when a startup creates a successful product. However, there is a lot of pressure during the creation process and after, when it’s time to get the product on the market as quickly as possible. This pressure doesn’t leave much room in the timeline to create a disaster recovery and business continuity plan. In fact, it is one of the last things that a business thinks of because it is boring and time-consuming. Plus, the vision for the future is much more limited than that of the present when things are just now getting off the ground.
The reality is that the future isn’t far away. In fact, the future is next week, tomorrow, and just a few seconds from this very moment. Within the next minute, someone could do something as simple as a command line mistake and erase gigabytes of important data in a matter of seconds. Thinking of all of those boring things that could save your business needs to happen from the beginning. It needs to be a part of the same business strategy as launching the product. When disaster strikes, and it most likely will at some point, you will have a backup plan that will ensure the survival of your business.
Preparing for the Unknown
Of course, you don’t know exactly what you are preparing for. Perhaps a hacker infiltrates your system and steals customer data or proprietary information. A good disaster recovery and business continuity plan can prepare you for anything. It is important to look at each individual process within the business and think of every possible disaster. A web startup, for instance, most likely is going to create multiple backups of data and code. If all of this information is lost, any hope for the future is also lost. The backups can ensure the important data are restored and business can continue. It’s good to think of the worst-case scenario and make sure there is an alternative to ensure business operations continue.
To make sure that you have a good foundation to build your disaster recovery and business continuity plans, you want to back up data at regular intervals. The end of each business day is a great time to do this. It is also the first step toward building and sustaining your plan. The second step is to create the plan around each individual process that is important to the operation of the business. The third step is to test each plan by running scenarios and then fine-tuning what didn’t work so well. The fourth step is to update each disaster recovery and business continuity plan as the business evolves. You don’t want to find yourself facing a disaster five years from now with five-year-old recovery plans in your hands that are no longer relevant to the business. That’s a disaster in itself.
Also, make sure that all plans are well-documented. This doesn’t mean keep a file on a computer. That’s not going to do you any good if the disaster causes computers to crash. You want to keep hard copies locked away in safe locations that multiple employees can access. Once in a while, review these plans with employees to refresh their memories so that they can jump into action the moment disaster strikes. These reviews will also remind you to keep your disaster recovery and business continuity plans up to date.
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