Do Small Businesses Need A Disaster Recovery Plan?
For IT management services all over the country, it’s been a truly hectic time. When Covid-19 first hit the headlines, it also became abundantly clear many small businesses hadn’t planned for any kind of disaster. As a result, businesses are still picking up the pieces over a year later. Whilst we can’t predict disruptions, having a disaster recovery plan in place ensures business continuity when unexpected events do occur. After all, how many days can your business afford to be out of operation?
The past year has been a time of monumental change. We may never return to the way things were before the pandemic. However, it does seem as if life is slowly returning to some semblance of normality. For managed IT services, ensuring clients are continuing to benefit from both security and useability has never been more important.
As the British workforce slowly returns to centralised locations, businesses across the country are busy undertaking a series of operational steps to transition the workforce from private homes back into offices. However, there are still many people who will be working from home for the foreseeable future.
As a result, our team of specialist technicians are dividing their time. We are ensuring a smooth transition for employees going back to the office, while also working with clients who are still performing their tasks remotely. Regardless of where you’re working, it’s vital you’re using secure and up-to-date software. Regular service must be resumed, but data must also be secured.
What is disaster recovery?
Your disaster recovery plan is a series of steps you can undertake in the event of a disruption. It will be specific to the needs of your business and should be planned out with a professional IT service. From flash flooding and earthquakes to cyber attacks and power cuts, a disaster can be difficult to predict. However, with the correct plan in place, businesses of all sizes can minimise disruption to their day-to-day operations.
An effective disaster recovery plan usually features several steps, including the plan itself which will be thoroughly tested to ensure it’s both practical and functional. In addition, data backup and recovery will also be implemented, as well as processes surrounding network redundancy.
Disaster recovery for small businesses
From large multinational corporations to SMEs, all businesses can benefit from a disaster recovery plan. Disasters such as network failures and cyber attacks are not limited to large businesses. In fact, a 2020 survey by the UK government revealed a 14% rise in cyber attacks against small businesses from 2019. It’s never too late to prepare for the future and ensure business continuity.
Most work teams are heavily reliant on IT these days. You should consider how quickly you’ll be able to regain access to your networks in the event of a disruption. Essentially, disaster recovery is the safety net your business needs.
What steps can my small business to prepare for the future?
A well thought out disaster recovery plan is essentially a safety net. While usability and accessibility are important, security should also be at the forefront of your mind. It’s important to think about the future and plan accordingly.
Update your business policies
When news of the pandemic first hit international headlines, businesses everywhere scrambled to enact a series of emergency policies. As the new normal prevented the use of localised locations, there were changes to day-to-day operations. These changes helped their staff adjust to working from home. Smaller businesses with their lack of manpower and resource suffered in particular. However, regardless of the size of your business it’s important to keep your company policies up-to-date.
Those policies will need to be reviewed, amended and in some cases, removed completely to comply with changes. It’s also a good time to go back to your pre-pandemic policies and evaluate your old IT operations; what’s changed since those policies were enacted? How has technology evolved? Have the expectations of your staff changed? Ask yourself what policies will be necessary going forward and consult your team to find out what works for them. It may even be worth redrafting your company’s entire IT policy.
Even if your business is just a handful of employees, it’s important to arrange regular refreshers for your team. You can also use this time to go over any alterations to your IT policies. This includes security and compliance, and any software changes or updates to your digital infrastructure.
It’s also important to check in on your employees. The pandemic has been a tough time for people all over the UK. The difficulties that come with remote working for some people shouldn’t be underestimated. Open with an honest and frank conversation about how the pandemic has affected your workforce. What policies worked well? What could the company do to support the transition back into localised infrastructure? If your staff are still working remotely, it’s important to check in on how they’re managing.
How can an IT support service help?
To get the most out of your tech and ensure business continuity, you may want to consider outsourcing the management of your digital assets and infrastructure to a professional IT support service. While most small business owners neglect IT support on the basis of necessity and cost, there are many benefits to consider. Outsourcing the management of your tech to a professional IT company allows businesses to optimise and futureproof their digital infrastructure and assets for a fixed monthly cost. In turn, managed IT support can increase profits and staff productivity as well as maximise customer satisfaction with efficient and hassle-free digital solutions.
As well as the traditional IT services a managed IT company can offer, small businesses can also benefit from heightened cyber security, assistance with the cloud and stable internet connectivity. In the wake of the pandemic, IT services are also encouraging businesses large and small to future proof their business continuity with tasks such as asset checks and software audits.
If your company didn’t have a thorough disaster recovery plan in place when Covid-19 first hit, then there’s a chance that both your digital assets and infrastructure may be distributed across various home locations without proper levels of security in place, or the onsite monitoring commonly found in centralised locations.
When it comes to IT management, your number one priority should be to protecting your digital assets, data and information. As a result, you should be regularly conducting full and thorough asset checks. Your IT management service will be able to assist you with this.
Think about every piece of hardware your company owns, and/or is a part of your network. A software audit lists the software applications that are installed on each piece of hardware.
If your company is large, performing a thorough software audit is obviously a colossal effort. For this job, it’s best to break the task down into simple steps. Start by categorising your software types into allowed and not allowed, as per your amended policies.
Be sure to enlist the help of your IT support provider. They will have monitoring software that can help you identify rogue software.
Disaster recovery with Acronyms IT Support
Employing the assistance of an IT support service has never been more important. You can improve the day-to-day running of your digital assets and infrastructure, and cement business continuity in the form of a disaster recovery plan.
Acronyms IT Support deliver bespoke IT services and solutions to businesses across the South West. We tailor our services to the needs of your business and deliver solutions without unnecessary jargon, bravado or overselling typical of the IT industry. We can help you and your team back on their feet and into the office.
Returning to normality after a year of unprecedented chaos may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be a chore. If you have any questions or are ready for your initial consultation, then please contact us today.