Data loss can be crippling to a business, whether it's due to technological failure, outside cyber attack or a disaster. However, following a major data interruption, the companies that have already put a good business continuance plan in place can recover almost immediately, while less-prepared companies struggle to come back online. Here are four things to look for in a business continuance partner to make sure you're getting your money's worth:
- Total, ongoing backup – The most basic element of a business continuance plan is a backup of your company's data, but different providers implement this differently. You will want to make sure that all of your information – including data archived in different media formats and data located off of your main server – will be included in your backup. A good business continuance partner will work with you identify all the ways that your business stores data and make sure that your plan covers everything you need. This can also be a chance to streamline your data storage and get rid of duplicates, saving you money on storage costs. Ultimately, a good business continuance plan includes ongoing backups, so that even the most recent data can be restored.
- Virtual machines where needed – Sometimes, data alone is not the only thing that needs to be backed up. In many cases, it makes sense to back up the infrastructure you use to handle that data—such as the structure of servers, databases, and other systems you use to do your business. Essentially, you want to bring your entire business environment back after a disaster or disruption, not just a mountain of files to dig through. Your business continuance partner should be able to create virtual machines that emulate your business technology, allowing them to be restored along with data.
- Priority restore – A complete restore can take time, even with the fastest technology. Nonetheless, as you move to keep your business operating after a data loss, you need immediate access to your most critical files—things like customer records and recent internal documents. It doesn't help you to know they are backed up if you have to wait days or weeks to access them. That's why your business continuance restore process should be able to prioritize certain kinds of data, giving you the most important files first and saving the less important data for afterward.
- Customized solutions – Not every business works the same way and most companies have developed their own IT structures that work for them. The best business continuance partners will work to provide custom solutions that match the way you do business.
What else do you look for in business continuance technology? Here at Solutions II, we offer customizable managed IT services to help you recover quickly after a disruption. Contact us today to discuss your unique business needs!