One of the least considered benefits of cloud computing in the average small or mid-sized business manager’s mind is the aspect of disaster recovery. Part of the reason for this is that so few small and mid-size businesses have ever contemplated the impact of a major disaster on their IT infrastructure, let alone built a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.
An IT infrastructure disaster can be a nightmare for any organization. The downtime, data loss, and potential damage to your reputation can be catastrophic. However, with the right approach, it is possible to overcome such a disaster. Here are some tips:
- Have a disaster recovery plan in place: This should include a backup strategy, disaster recovery testing, and a business continuity plan
- Prioritize critical systems: Identify the most critical systems and prioritize their recovery
- Communicate with stakeholders: Keep all stakeholders informed of the situation and progress made towards recovery
- Address the root cause: Once the immediate crisis is over, address the root cause of the disaster to prevent it from happening again
- Learn from the experience: Conduct a post-mortem to learn from the experience and improve your disaster recovery plan
The good news is that with the technologies available to you today and the significantly lower costs associated with implementing those technologies, disaster recovery and disaster planning are much easier. At Acumatica, the systems that host our customers’ data in our software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployment and licensing model are hosted in the cloud and have regular snapshot backups and sit on fault-tolerant servers with redundant power, network infrastructure and storage systems in bomb-proof, earthquake-proof, physically secure, flood-proof, and fire-proof environments. All this protection is provided at a fraction of what it would cost for a customer to provision and deploy those solutions.
But even if you have chosen to deploy critical systems such as your enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and data in such an environment, there are still other components that you need to consider. For example, how do you manage all your document storage, security infrastructure, and access control, such as the systems provided in your on-premise server deployment?
Stop for a second and consider what would happen if you lost access to all your correspondence with customers and suppliers — not just the financial data but all the letters, emails, and general information that gets exchanged in the course of day to day transacting.