Do you have an “it won’t happen to me” disaster recovery policy? If so, you may want to read this!

Everybody thinks they are protected. That a disaster is not going to happen to them, correct? Well, what if a disaster that has nothing to do you happens, and stops you from doing business.

I suppose that is what happened in Glasgow. Back in March 2018, there was a fire in Victoria’s nightclub. This closed a lot of businesses in and around Sauchiehall Street. One good example is the Pavillion theatre. It wasn’t the fire that got them, but the smoke, and it has only just been deemed fit to open again. That is 5 months later with no income, due to something outwith their control – how does your business survive that?

Lightning doesn’t strike twice or does it?

They say lightning doesn’t strike twice, please tell that to the Glasgow School of Art. Back in November 2014, a fire started in the Mackintosh building that destroyed this historic Category A listed part of the school. Then, earlier this year, in June, whilst renovations were ongoing, they had another fire that has not only caused a lot of damage to the building but also affected surrounding businesses and residents – some of whom have only just been allowed back into their building to collect their possessions.

Do you still think “it won’t happen to me”?

What, as a business can you do to pre-empt a disaster? Simple, have a plan of action, distribute this plan of action and test this plan of action. Easier said than done I hear you say! Well not really.

If a disaster occurs, and that could include a failure, you have to look at three key areas:

  1. Systems
  2. Staff
  3. Customers

If you can keep the above happy and working then you have a chance of keeping your business alive, if one area fails, then you may fail. Let’s have a look at each area and give you some pointers

Disaster Recovery Planning

An old mentor of mine used to say failure to prepare, prepare to fail – that was way before it became a popular expression. If you adopt the “it won’t happen to me” attitude, it may just come back to bite you. Every business no matter how big or small must have a Disaster Recovery plan and more importantly make it available throughout the business

  1. Systems

Without access to your IT systems, you cannot operate. It is as plain and simple as that. Fortunately, the cloud has made this a lot easier for many businesses. If you don’t have any hardware on site, then it is a lot easier. However, you still need to able to give your staff access to systems from a different location. A lot of businesses still have onsite servers, software, and applications. If you do, you must look at the best way to ensure you can access them if your premises and closed. A good way of doing this is to adopt a hybrid system. This means all your servers/software and data are backed up to a secondary site and can be accessed by everyone quickly.

  1. Staff

It is all very well making sure your systems are good, but your staff must be able to keep working, after all, you will still be paying them. A few years ago, when bird flu was a big threat to the UK economy, a lot of work was done to ensure staff could work from home. This is still the best way to go if your business allows it. If not, you need to look at alternative accommodation, at short notice, this could be difficult – especially if there are a lot of other businesses in the same situation.

Working from home brings its own challenges – do your staff have work-based laptops or are you expecting them to use their own? If you do, how do you give them access and how do you secure against un-authorised access and virus’s or hacks? A lot to consider.

  1. Customers

I have left this till last, but it could equally be first, after all without Customers/Clients you have no business. If you manufacture a product you need alternative premises asap. If you offer a service, you need to ensure your phones are diverted and someone is capable of answering them.

Last week, Unleashed, had two conversations with two different customers about how they can improve their disaster recovery plans. If you are worried or would like to start planning, then please get in touch – we don’t bite! Don’t bury your head in the sand and adopt the “it won’t happen to me” ethos.

Act today and call 0333 240 0565 or visit the Unleashed Website and fill in the contact form?