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Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines the morning of November 8 leaving a path of unimagined destruction. As with other natural disasters, many business owners who watched the destruction unfold on the news have been questioning the safety of employees and whether their business is ready for a potential disaster with a solid business continuity plan in place. One thing they may be unsure about is how they can use technology to help prepare for, and make it through the the next disaster.
Technology can help small to medium sized businesses develop and execute both disaster recovery and business continuity plans in many ways. Here are five:
The majority of business owners and employees now have smartphones, tablets and laptops that they use on a daily basis. What these devices have done is enable better communication, which is also a major part of a continuity plan.
With a multitude of chat apps like WhatsApp, Google Hangouts and iMessenger, companies can set up group chats that can be accessed via multiple devices from nearly anywhere. This means that you can get information out fast, with a higher chance of reaching the people you need to during and after a disaster.
Combine this with virtualized systems like email and VoIP, both of which are usually hosted off-site and are highly likely to remain optional during a disaster, and you further boost the chances and effectiveness of communication.
Let’s face it, when developing a recovery or continuity plan, there is a ton of factors that you need to consider and actually plan for. These plans can get complicated and hard to track and manage very quickly, and any plan that is either overcomplicated or poorly managed runs the risk of failing when implemented.
This is why there are numerous well-designed software options that allow businesses to not only develop, but track, implement and share recovery and continuity plans with greater effectiveness than manual systems.
What’s more, is many of these solutions are created using industry standards and can often help you apply proven methods that may not have been previously possible.
Traditional data backup systems require a physical backup like a hard drive or tape. When you do need to recover systems, it can take hours or days. Now, many IT partners offer cloud backup services which store your information in the cloud.
When you need to recover data, you can usually log on to any computer with an Internet connection and have your files and data back in a fairly short amount of time. This means that your company can return to as near full operation status as quickly as possible without much loss of time and consequently, profit.
As stated above, most professionals have multiple devices that allow them to connect with colleagues and customers with ease. Business owners therefore have a variety of quick and easy ways to try and connect to employees in a time of emergency, allowing for a higher chance of coordinating and executing a plan of action.
By employing technical solutions like virtualization and cloud services, essentially moving services off site, you will be able to remain operational or recover quickly. This is largely because many solutions have redundant servers, so if one fails another can take over and still keep your systems available.
There are many ways technology can be employed in order to make planning for disasters and even recovering from them less challenging. If you are looking to learn more about how technology can help your business, get in touch.
Published on 6th September 2013 by Jeanne DeWitt.