As a business located in Southwest Florida, we are no stranger to hurricanes and their potential for destruction. This is the time of year known as hurricane season, the period from June to November when hurricanes usually form in the Atlantic Ocean. The media usually responds to this season with statistics from past years of damage followed by predictions for storm patterns for the upcoming months. Interestingly, there are also some statistics pertaining to natural disasters and their impact on small businesses.
Even the Department of Homeland Security sponsors a site for disaster planning to urge businesses to be prepared ahead of time. The question that remains is: With all the easily accessible resources available for business owners, why is the survival rate of businesses after natural disasters so low?
It’s simple. Entrepreneurs are free-thinkers. We don’t want to be SCARED into changing the way we run our businesses. With that being said, here are three non-scary reasons why you should review your IT services this season:1. Disaster Recovery Applies to More Than Hurricanes
If you’re a Florida resident chances are you dont scream ‘EARTHQUAKE’ when you hear about a natural disaster. But this doesn’t mean that there aren’t more threats to your business than just high winds and rain. For example, the number one risk in North America is projected to be cyberattacks and ransomware, which have shown to target SMB companies.The same offsite backups that ensure your data is safe during a storm also help you thwart ransomware. There may not be a severe thunderstorm warning, but if a hacker breaches your system then you're still covered!
Disaster Recovery is much like installing a security camera in your home. You make the purchase with the worst-case scenario in mind (i.e. catching a burglar during a break-in). However, in the meantime, you also know when your Amazon Delivery Driver lobs your new TV over the fence!
2. Business Continuity Can Make You a Hero
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity are not interchangeable terms. While Disaster Recovery focuses on getting applications and systems back up and running to the same degree as they were performing before a disaster, Business Continuity is much broader and refers to the steps needed to keep the overall business open during a disaster.
Your Business Continuity Plan will typically include a Disaster Recovery Plan which will ensure that everything business-critical is properly restored and available, but a Business Continuity Plan will focus on what needs to be done the second a disaster strikes. A disaster coordinator or team should piece together the plan, test and review it regularly, and store it so that it can be available at a moment’s notice.
The most obvious benefit of a Business Continuity Plan is the reduction of downtown after a disaster event- which is the main reason companies go out of business after a hurricane. Clients are usually understanding when you’re dealing with an emergency, but it’s still important to get business functions up and running as soon as possible.
Besides ensuring that you’ll stay in business after a disaster, forming a Business Continuity Plan also gives your business a chance to be a hero. Imagine the aftermath of a natural disaster in which your business is still open and fully operational. You would be able to help people, gain clientele, and gain trust from new and existing clients. You would establish yourself as a trusted brand capable of coming through even in compromising circumstances.3. Uncovering Solutions Beyond Disaster Prep
Building strategies to prepare your business for a disaster can aid you in uncovering daily solutions. Your entire IT network should be leveraged to bring value to your organization. One example of this is virtualization. Virtualizing your servers is extremely beneficial when it comes to recovering data. And even more conveniently, it can save your company from buying additional software and wasting space. Plus it helps to cut down on the electric bill. Virtualization of servers is just one of the many modern solutions that you might uncover by preparing your business for unforeseen circumstances. This way, your business can perform better on sunny days too!
Overwhelmed about disaster prep? It’s okay! Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity is a big task for any company. Four Winds has an experienced team of engineers that are here to help. For assistance with disaster preparedness, backups, or just improving your IT services overall, contact Four Winds IT for a free network assessment!