Perhaps you haven’t yet figured out your plans for disaster recovery and business continuity at your organization. We get it – there’s never enough time to complete important business tasks. However, you know the importance of backup, so even if you haven’t yet made plans for full disaster recovery protection, you’re already performing regular tape or disk backups that you store securely off-site.
You know this practice is critical for long-term business success in our digital world, so you’ve prioritized properly… yet with all the constant news about cyber-attacks, the increasing weather severity, and the massive amounts of data our internet-driven world is generating, you have a sneaking suspicion that backups are no longer enough.
Is that hunch of yours correct, or are you just paranoid? It can be hard to tell.
At SWK Technologies, we’re not here to sell you something you don’t need. So, in our opinion, maybe you need disaster recovery and business continuity, maybe you don’t. You can learn more about disaster recovery and business continuity when you download this handy informational guide, or you can read on to get additional facts right here on the blog.
First Off, What Exactly Is Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery? Is It Just a Backup?
Through they’re both a form of backup, traditional tape or disk backups and business continuity are very different things.
In tape or disk backups:
- You are typically responsible for running your backups because these systems don’t often offer full automation. If they do, your backups will likely be done once a day or once a week, which means you could lose up to a week’s worth of work (new client data, new orders, shipping info, AP data, etc.) if you were forced to rely on your backups.
- Recovery and data restoration takes a long time because, though you have data, you don’t have user setups and personalizations backed up, you don’t have programs backed up, and you don’t have your full network backed up. Plus, if you’re using tape backups, your restore process requires shipping time to get those tapes out of your storage facility and into your offices.
In business continuity / disaster recovery (also known as BCDR):
- Backups and testing are both automated. This is for a few reasons: (a) it saves you time while ensuring that you never forget a backup, and (b) BCDR backups are typically performed every few minutes or in real time, which would be literally impossible for you to keep up with if you had to do it yourself.
- Recovery and data restoration can be nearly instantaneous because backups are stored every few minutes or are replicated in real time and restoration / failover is handled remotely or through virtualization.
Let’s Get Real: Do You Actually Need Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery?
Right here, right now, let’s cut through the hype. Though every outsourced IT company is going to try to sell you business continuity / disaster recovery services, not all companies actually need BCDR. Yours may be one of the ones that can rely safely on backups.
Let’s find out.
If your company is very small, with only a handful of computers to manage, traditional tape or disk backups might be enough.
This is because:
- Very small companies tend to have fewer clients and obligations, and therefore have more flexible timelines.
- Very small companies can often safely shut down operations for a few days to restore files, and their clients won’t really mind the delay.
If these sound like your business, you probably don’t need to focus on business continuity / disaster recovery right now. Phew!
If your company has about 15 computers in use (including mobile devices used as computers), you should definitely consider BCDR.
This is because:
- Companies of this size usually don’t have the luxury to shut down operations for a few days while restoring data.
- These companies’ clients are likely to leave them if timelines run very late or if critical data is lost.
If this latter description sounds like your company or your clients, we suggest that you learn more about BCDR.
Luckily, you can get a great introduction to disaster recovery and business continuity when you download the eBook, “CEO? Here’s Why You Care About Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery.”