There’s always the risk of experiencing an IT disaster. However, certain practices can make your organization more vulnerable to a disaster, as well as all of the consequences that come with them. In order to best protect your business and its data, it helps to be aware of the signs that you could be heading down a dangerous path. This way, you’ll be able to more easily mitigate risk, as you’ll know the symptoms of an incoming disaster. To that end, we’ve put together a list of signs that your business is on the way to disaster, and how to prevent the worst from happening.
Your IT Team Doesn’t Have a Disaster Recovery Plan
In the event of an IT disaster, tasks for recovery purposes are often delegated to key personnel, including managing directors, stakeholders, and technical managers. These tasks are assigned in relation to the skills of the employees, as well as their general responsibilities. Employees involved in disaster recovery should know who has the ability to identify if there has been a negative financial impact, who has administrative access privileges in addition to the power to authorize access for others, and which departments must be back up and operational first.
During a disaster, the future of an organization rests on decisive decision making in a potentially high-pressure situation. By knowing who is in charge of each aspect of your business’ disaster recovery plan, you will be more successful in reducing downtime, avoiding financial losses, and getting your organization back up and running.
Components of Your Infrastructure are Incompatible
Small and mid-sized businesses can often become too dependent on their IT teams to monitor, fix, and upgrade the network and corporate IT assets at all times. However, a lack of experience usually leads to the IT task list surpassing the ability the IT team has to complete it, which in turn, can lead to errors. If your IT team is constantly occupied with fixing day-to-day issues, it may not be possible for them to have a comprehensive understanding of system upgrades or the ability to determine how they can impact existing systems.
These conditions make it far too easy to incorrectly configure a network and can result in devices becoming incompatible with mission-critical applications if the network cannot be accessed. When downtime results from this scenario, staff are being paid while work is not getting done, creating a financial loss. Additionally, if this is impacting all devices on the network, the organization has a problem to solve, which can create a negative hit on business resources.
A way to combat this scenario is to leverage an IT support company to monitor what system upgrades are required within your infrastructure, from setup to completion. In addition to this, a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can perform a comprehensive audit of your infrastructure in order to determine how data flows through the network. This will allow you to better plan your future IT strategy.
Your Servers are Aging Out
As a server gets older, it begins to weaken, and therefore the likelihood of a crash collapsing an organization’s network starts to increase significantly. Replacing a server can be frustrating and expensive, but doing so will improve business efficiency, which will eventually result in reduced costs compared to the use of an older server that is prone to crashes. You can outsource an IT support company to monitor your server and your critical data in order to assess performance and identify potential issues before a disaster can occur. Approaching maintenance in this way allows your organization to be prepared for planned outages within your infrastructure, including patch installation, security updates, and service packs.
Your Employees Aren’t Enabled to Solve Problems
It can be difficult for in-house IT teams to keep up with the day-to-day demands of business operations. Because of this, network disruptions can become a regular event when daily issues take precedence over preventative maintenance procedures. This can cause problems to build on top of each other, making it much harder to determine what caused a network interruption. Because the organization now has to react to the crash, which could have been prevented, the business also experiences more downtime as the IT team works to fix the issue.
You can outsource this to an IT support company that can provide proactive infrastructure maintenance at all times, with engineers that will monitor your systems and ensure they are available and operational. Through implementing automated monitoring capabilities, engineers can identify vulnerabilities before they become larger issues, while also managing your storage capacity. By outsourcing, your in-house IT team will be able to focus on business-critical tasks. Support from an MSP is often also more cost-effective in the long run because you don’t have to hire, train, and retain in-house IT employees.
You are Unable to Recover Your Data
Data backup is a necessity that is often taken for granted. It’s not enough to have all of your data saved, it must be continuously backed up and be restorable in the inevitable event of a disaster. If you are unable to access your business-critical data, your daily operations will be completely disrupted, which will impede you from providing services to your customers. This situation needs to be considered as a possibility, because once you understand the potential risks, you are better equipped to then mitigate those risks.
Having a comprehensive backup plan is a crucial way to proactively protect your data from disaster. A method to consider implementing is the 3-2-1 backup strategy. This refers to having three copies of any set of data, of which two copies are kept on local devices, such as a server and an on-premise backup appliance. Then, one copy is kept off-site in an online storage space in the cloud, or in a similar location.
An awareness of what could go wrong in a disaster situation is imperative when being proactive and preventative. Evaluate your organization’s practices with the above points in mind as a way to improve your protective measures, and recover more easily in the event of a disaster.
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