If a natural disaster or cyber attack occurred, companies can be easily left without access to essential data and applications, halting day-to-day operations until systems are restored. To ensure that your business minimizes long-term unplanned interruption to business-critical operations, organizations need to continuously assess, plan, and test their procedures for business continuity.
Assessing Critical Processes: Before business continuity plans can be developed, companies need to have a firm handle on the essential applications needed for day-to-day operations. To do this, companies need to determine their core business processes and identify which applications support them. This highlights the type of response and restoration time required to effectively respond to a disaster.
Organizations in certain industries, such as healthcare, must be able to recover their essential applications when a disaster occurs immediately. In the case of hospitals and other healthcare organizations, Electronic Health Records (EHR) are one of the most critical applications that need to be recovered immediately. Without access to these records, potentially serious errors can occur.
Planning for Recovery: Companies can begin preparing for disaster by documenting the procedures necessary to recover operations and applications to operational states. This includes whether the business will opt for managing applications in-house or seek managed hosting or data center colocation. Businesses will also determine from a cost perspective whether a cold, warm, or hot site would be best suited to their needs. The final plan should be communicated to staff so that they will understand their roles during a recovery.
The Different Tiers of Disaster Recovery Services
When it comes to disaster recovery and business continuity services, there are different tiers to consider. Each tier offers a different level of response to a disaster. Let’s take a closer look at these tiers:
Hot Sites: A hot site is a disaster recovery service that provides almost immediate recovery of data and systems. These services are equipped with like-for-like hardware and software, running in real-time. Should a disaster strike, hot site services can have businesses back up and running within minutes. These services are most suitable for businesses that cannot afford any downtime and require real-time replication to ensure reliable operations.
Cold Sites: Cold sites, on the other hand, are more focused on data protection and backup, rather than immediate recovery. These services operate like data centers, with the equipment available to set up and restore an organization’s systems from backups. This type of disaster recovery service can take up to a week or more to restore full access. Cold sites are suitable for organizations that can tolerate some downtime and can wait for their systems to be restored gradually.
Warm Sites: Warm sites typically have basic backups and replication in place, which can be used to restore data within a day or so. These services are suitable for organizations that can afford minimal downtime while their systems are restored.
Choosing the right disaster recovery service for your organization depends on many factors, including your business needs, budget, and tolerance for downtime. At Independent Connections, we work with you to assess your organization’s risks and plan accordingly.
Testing Recovery Scenarios: Business continuity plans should be continually tested to validate they can recover necessary applications within an acceptable timeframe. This is also important to ensure that backups and replication are current and up-to-date to avoid losing important data. Runbooks should also be updated if recovery processes have been changed.
These steps will guide businesses as they develop a business continuity plan to ensure their operations can recover quickly in the event of a disaster. Independent Connections understands the importance of ensuring businesses always have access to essential applications and data. Independent Connection’s experienced team of IT professionals can help you assess and architect solutions with managed hosting or data center colocation. You gain complete visibility, full control, and fast recovery in the event of any issues.
The Benefits of Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
Data center-managed hosting and data center colocation are both great options for businesses seeking cost-effective disaster recovery and business continuity solutions. They can offer a variety of services to meet different requirements, including replication, backups, server colocation, or cloud hosting options. Data centers are an excellent solution for businesses looking to keep their operations running smoothly and securely in the face of any disaster. Having a disaster recovery and business continuity plan can benefit your company through reduced risk, improved efficiency, cost savings, and increased flexibility.
Exploring Business Continuity Services
Business continuity services focus on preventing and mitigating the impacts of disasters, by ensuring that all processes, systems, and data are secure. The main types of business continuity services include document management, risk assessment and analysis, contingency planning, information security and compliance, organizational resilience, and data backup.
Document management services help organizations keep their records organized, secure, and up-to-date. Risk assessment and analysis services provide insight into potential disasters to identify vulnerabilities and take preventive measures to limit the damage. Contingency planning allows an organization to plan ahead in case of disaster, by specifying recovery objectives and strategies.
Information security and compliance services ensure that business data is secure and up-to-date, while organizational resilience helps organizations remain resilient in the face of adversity. Data backup services provide an additional layer of protection for important information by ensuring it can be recovered quickly should disaster strike.
Putting it All Together
By taking advantage of the various business continuity services available, organizations can ensure they are prepared for any event. Business continuity plans should be regularly updated to reflect changes in an organization’s operations and consider relevant external factors. With careful planning and effective implementation, businesses can increase their chances of surviving and recovering from a disaster.
Disaster recovery and business continuity are essential for businesses of all sizes. By utilizing data center services from Independent Connections, organizations can ensure their applications and data are secure, available, and accessible in the face of any disaster.