With recent global events, many businesses have turned to their existing DR plan to enable their business to continue operating remotely. Many businesses though will have created their DR plan on the fly, reacting to problems as they occur. Not only is this more stressful but it increases costs as you try to procure equipment and services at the last minute, not to mention staff you are paying who may not be able to work until services are functioning in a way that enables them to work as normal.
Although DR is a business-wide consideration, technology plays a large part in reducing risks and providing services that offer business continuity by design.
The fundamentals of an effective DR plan are simple – how do I keep my business operating when something goes wrong: a server fails, internet connectivity stops, your business premises are inaccessible, or your staff win big on their lottery syndicate. Each business will have different risks that are bespoke to them. Many of these are IT related, many are operational, but all need to be considered, risk assessed, and processes put in places for mitigation. As your business grows and develops, so do your IT systems and operational processes, therefore your DR strategy needs to develop alongside those changes. An out of date DR strategy is as good as not having one.
There are many areas we need to consider in creating and maintaining a DR plan, some examples include:
- Audit existing systems and processes, including external partners/suppliers – what risks and vulnerabilities are there (technical and organisational)
- Understand those risks – security breach, loss of services (internet, power), inaccessible premises, staff illness, human error, partner/supplier failure, natural disaster
- Document mitigation strategies for each risk – effective backups, redundant services where possible, robust processes and procedures for staff
- Fully document the strategy separately and have access to this outside of your business – your DR strategy is only effective if you can access it in a disaster
- Involve and train staff – everyone needs to know what to do and when
- Test – DR strategies should be regularly tested and updated as risks change
PSP IT, like almost every business during the Coronavirus pandemic, has changed the way it operates. Our business is normally office based with all our staff travelling each day to a single place of work. During this lockdown our office has been empty; we now have upwards of 20 remote offices: dining rooms, living rooms and home offices. Although this has been a massive shift for us, our ability to operate at 100% effectiveness remains unchanged. This has all been possible thanks to our always evolving Disaster Recovery plan. As our business has grown and new technologies implemented over the years, our plan has adapted. Our most recent changes were completed at the start of 2020 during a major refresh of our infrastructure.
PSP has over 35 years of combined experience in our Business Services team, working with customers on their IT strategy. Whether it’s an infrastructure refresh utilising the cloud or leveraging new services and technologies to streamline your business operations, PSP can help.
For the past 10 years, we’ve worked closely with one of the major Chartered Institutes in the country to design and develop their IT strategy to suit their business needs and its continued growth, including their Disaster Recovery plan. Our approach has allowed their 200 staff to work remotely through this crisis, operating as they would if they were in the office.
If current events have added unforeseen pressures to your services and cost to your business, please get in contact with us. A good IT system works; a great IT system continues to work when the unexpected happens.
For more information on our Outsourced IT Management services, please click here: https://www.psp-it.co.uk/services/outsource-it-strategy-and-management/