How To Avoid Business Disasters

by Brian Jackson, Abacus IT Solutions, President and COO

A growing number of businesses of all types and sizes are still not adequately prepared for many disasters that could affect their future. Statistically, 60 percent of businesses don’t have a fully documented network disaster recovery plan, and almost half of those that do have a plan admit that it is outdated and would not be effective if and when a disaster did strike. Even fewer businesses test their disaster recovery plan on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, a business that is not adequately prepared for a potential disaster faces a wide variety of risks which could ultimately cause them to close their doors.

Some of these risks may include:

  • Natural disasters – Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, or fire.
  • Human error – Employees accidentally downloading virus-ridden files to a computer tied to the business network.
  • IT systems failure – A network or hardware failure, which can result in unusable computers and phone systems.
  • Cyberattacks – From ransomware or due to data breaches.

When a disaster does strike an unprepared business, the effects can be catastrophic. The business may not be able to operate effectively, which could cause delays in service to customers. Long delays might force customers to turn to competitors for help. Poor planning can also result in financial loss. Typically, the less prepared a business is for disaster, the more money they spend on response and recovery. Additionally, there is the reputation of the business that is at stake. Poor handling of disaster can directly impact the bottom line by making it difficult to keep current customers and acquire new customers.

Maybe your company is small and streamlined, or maybe it operates in an industry with relatively low risk. You might think that your facilities and systems are inherently safe. Thinking about a business continuity plan might seem complicated and overwhelming.

Here are a few simple questions to ask to help evaluate the business and plan needed to recover.

  1. Do you have a plan to account for all potential business-impacting events such as natural disasters, human error, IT failures and cyberattacks? Is the plan current?
  2. Does your plan include all critical systems (accounting, operations, IT and HR) and prioritized recovery tasks?
  3. Do you have redundancies in place for critical systems data, such as redundant power supplies, replication of software and backups stored in multiple locations?
  4. Does your plan include a clear timeline for all objectives?
  5. Do all employees have a copy of the plan that is accessible to them in the midst of a disaster and know their roles?

Having a thorough understanding of these questions and how much planning and preparation has gone into your company’s disaster plan can mean the  difference in business continuity and business closing.

Abacus IT Solutions is a managed services provider solving the technology needs of small and mid-sized businesses to help them operate smarter. Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama since 2000, the Abacus goal is to provide peace of mind solutions for clients and a culture of leadership and ownership for team members.