webmasterSeptember 17, 2015September 17, 2015On July 8th, three large and well-known companies suddenly went off line: United Airlines, the New York Stock Exchange and the Wall Street Journal. And while many of their customers and the general public were initially thinking this might be the tipping point to something larger, it turned out those concerns were unfounded. United Airlines suffered a network outage, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)’s online trading platform crashed and the Wall Street Journal’s site went offline because of an overabundance of online inquires about why the NYSE website was unavailable. As every business, large or small, continues to rely so heavily on technology, it begs the question, “Does your business have a disaster plan?” If the answer is no, consider these cold, hard statistics as a means to persuade you to put a business continuity plan together: According to the Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Survey, over 50% of businesses experienced an unforeseen interruption, and 81% of these interruptions caused the business to be closed one or more days. Think about that for a moment, what would it cost you to close your business for one whole day? 80% of businesses suffering a major disaster go out of business in 3 years. In the case of a fire, 44% of enterprises fail to reopen. 40% of businesses that experience a critical IT failure go out of business within 1 year. Source: Hidden Threats to Enterprise Report What would you do if you had no business to return to? Companies are still failing to put strategic contingency plans in place. Analysts from Hughes Marketing Group have found that 90% of small companies spend less than 8 hours planning or managing their business continuity plans per month. While 8 hours a month may seem excessive, that equates to only 12 days a year. That’s less time than your company would spend on software upgrades or marketing calls – and we are talking about your business! Your lifeblood and the bread and butter of your employees! What Defines a Disaster Business disasters usually are lumped into 3 categories: Acts of God: Tornados, hurricanes or snowstorms would be good examples. The elements have caused your business to close. Deliberate: Terrorism, employee sabotage, hackers or arson. A group or individual are targeting your country, city or business. They want your system to fail. System Failure: This is where technology has a schism. Somewhere, something has gone terribly wrong and recovery of the data is questionable. 5 Solid Ways to Move beyond a Disaster You can never really know when a disaster will strike; it can happen at a moment’s notice. The important thing is to have the infrastructure in place to get your business up and running within minutes or hours of the impending event. Do these items and things will move along a lot easier for every employee: Complete a technology inventory, share it with your insurance company and then store it on the cloud. On the hardware side, document manufacturers, model and serial numbers, when you purchased or leased the equipment and the payment amount. On the software side, determine what version of software you have on each device, whether it is free or fee and when the licensed is to be renewed. Once you have a complete listing, send it over to your insurance company for safekeeping. And be sure to place it on the cloud, so you can access the information from any device at any location. Continue to add to or delete technology from the list as it moves in and out of your company. Move to a paperless environment. When you experience a fire or flood, your paper system is completely worthless. Now is the time to go through all your documents and either scan the important ones or shred the not-so-important documents. Get rid of those metal file cabinets once and for all. Once you have completed this process, remember to continuously scan or shred incoming documents. Get to the cloud. A private cloud computing rental option is the perfect way to prepare for a disaster. Through a secure set of sign-in procedures, you and your organization can access your data from any device, anywhere and at any time. Make sure the cloud tool you access is web responsive, in case you need to complete the bulk of your business transactions on a smartphone for a day or two. Have a strong password policy. Hackers and disgruntled employees are usually able to access sensitive files or take down systems because sign-in and passwords are laissez-faire. Make sure employees change their passwords at least every 90 days and enforce strong password selections. Don’t let them write it down or keep it anywhere on their desk or person. Also, remove terminated employees from the system before the separation occurs. Set aside a budget for business contingency. You may never use it, but have budget dollars and a process in place to rent a computer in bulk, copier rentals and printers for a new business location. Have two or three properties in mind that you know will fit all your employees and is Wi-Fi enabled. Hartford Technology Rental is Your Business Continuity Partner Don’t wait for a disaster to happen! Find out now how Hartford Technology Rental can provide your organization with peace of mind. Contact us today at 888-520-5667 or online to discuss your recovery plan.