By Dinah Dean, Marketing Manager, RMM Solutions
Given the threat of natural disasters (recent tornados are a good example), employee error, hardware/software malfunctions and malicious viruses, it’s not a question of “if” but rather it’s a question of “when.”
A few years ago, Gordon Aluminum in Schofield, began developing a zero-downtime disaster recovery program. Unfortunately, disaster didn’t feel like waiting until the plan was fully implemented. Early one morning, lightning struck the Gordon Aluminum plant. Fueled by a blown main gas valve near the hit, the resulting fire caused more than $8 million in damage, including the complete devastation of the company’s IT infrastructure and phone system.
“Of course our initial concern was making sure nobody was hurt, and then determining if our manufacturing processes were affected. Then when we looked at the business portion of the company, we realized that the bulk of our computing network, our phone system and business systems hardware had been wiped out by fire,” said A.J. Gordon, President, Gordon Aluminum. “After a moment of panic we got our heads together and called RMM.”
It may shock you to learn that 52% of local companies surveyed indicated that they did not have a disaster recovery plan in place. And yet when asked how long their company could survive a disaster (without major and potentially irreversible damage to their service delivery and customer relations), close to two-thirds of the respondents said 24 hours or less.
Events which force companies to declare disasters
What if you lose the owner or a key employee?
What if an owner passes away?
Having a disaster recovery plan means having plans in place that can help you restore your business to pre-disaster conditions – quickly! Business continuity on the other hand is preventing business interruptions and having the ability to continue your critical business functions during and immediately after a disaster.
Which plan do you have? Or do you even have one?
The best time to prepare for a disaster is well before it happens. There’s nothing you can do to lower the risk of a disaster. But there are measures you can take to protect your company’s bottom line. First and foremost is putting together a disaster recovery/business continuity plan.
Things you should consider as you plan for the future:
Create a business inventory — Take photos of your company’s computers, mobile devices, company vehicles, company building and other equipment. Record the items’ descriptions and serial numbers and store this information (along with their respective receipts) in a safe, off-site location.
Contact Information - Do you have current and multiple contact information (e.g., home and cell phone number, personal email addresses for:
Develop a communications strategy — Do you have access to multiple and reliable methods of communications with your employees:
Create a contingency plan — be sure your plan outlines the following and is reviewed and updated regularly:
Customer Preparation – Make sure your key customers know:
It’s clear that every organization needs a solid disaster recovery plan. Please be sure to visit our website for more information about this very important subject. Better yet, contact us today for a complimentary consultation. We can help you get started on this important component of your company’s success strategy.