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The 7 Stages of Business Recovery


If your business has ever suffered through any kind of disaster or data loss scenario, the most vital tool to you may be having the know-how to get things back up and running, fast. After all, downtime after any disaster can be just as difficult to deal with as the event that caused the loss in the first place. Hopefully you have a Disaster Recovery solution lined up that will be ready to assists you right away. At the very least, it is a wise idea to have all of your organization’s vital data backed up, either locally or with a cloud service.

To be clear, the word “disaster” can take on two different contexts. It can either mean a natural disaster or similar event which causes physical damage, or it can refer to human error, which might be accidental deletion or the downloading of a virus that totally wipes out a company’s business vitals.

While your data may exist independent of your business, your business does not (in many cases) exist independent of its data. The business recovery process is made up of 7 individual steps, each one a move in the direction of encapsulating everything that went down during the event. Data storage is still largely physical in nature. Although businesses are showing a clear move to go digital with their data, some either don’t have the means or are unsure about how to make the leap to virtually archiving their business.

I’ve taken the liberty to break down the 7 steps to business recovery, providing an in-depth explanation of each:

1. Immediate Response

What you do in the immediate aftermath of a disaster is paramount. This is the time when you flip on the “disaster switch” and begin to consolidate everything that is of importance to the daily function of your organization. Whether this means contacting your cloud BDR provider or moving servers out of a flooded room, this will impact how the following steps are performed, and how likely you are to re-open in the future.

2. Environmental Restoration

Obviously in the event of an environmental disaster this is important, especially to small and mid-sized organizations that lack the means to funnel all of their day-to-day data elsewhere for safe keeping. Along with all of your vital business data, your brick and mortar establishment is the physical part of the business, so that’s noteworthy. However, walls and roofs can always be repaired, if your success relies on your ability to gain insights from your data, that must take precedence. Although troublesome, companies in the enterprise bend to the will of their environment to a much lesser extent, and are much more likely to have BDR solutions in place.

3. Functional Restoration

Get your business back to a point where it can function. It still may be too early to reinstitute the functionality of your business processes, although that greatly depends on what plagued it before step 1. This is really the first step to re-opening the proverbial doors before allowing data to flow in and out once more.

4. Data Synchronization

Since you were prepared and had your Backup and recovery plan in place, you can begin to establish some consistency amongst your data from source to target once again. Basically, we just want to make sure that everything will run seamlessly as it did prior to the disaster. Once your data movement is restored, we can move on to restoring the business processes that the organization is built upon.

5. Restoration of Business Functions

Now we’re cooking. You’ve implemented all of your recovery plans and your backup solution has been hard at work restoring all of your data. Now your organization is at the very least capable of taking orders or doing whatever it is that it does. If you’re an online business, this is likely the final step. Now you can get back to normal. If you’re a physical business that relies on data, there still may be two more steps, again, depending on the specifics of the event.

6. Interim Site

If you are a web-based business, there is no need to open an interim site, unless of course all of your site data was lost or destroyed. This step plays a much larger role on physical businesses who rely on their location for sales or traffic. Maybe you open up a shop in a vacant business space down the street for a year while your location is repaired or cleaned, or maybe you are an online business that is still having trouble getting the coding right on your site and you want to open a simpler, more lightweight web page to sell your novelty coffee mugs in the interim.

7. Return Home

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