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A beginner’s guide to Improving IT resilience For Your Business
IT resilience is when your business systems can seamlessly adapt to changing circumstances in order to protect data and applications, mitigate the risk of downtime and focus on service delivery.
In other words, IT resilience ensures that your business is ‘Always-On’ also known as business continuity or serviceability.
Why is that important?
Downtime (when a system cannot perform its primary function) can have catastrophic effects on your business including (but not limited to):
- Reduced profitability due to loss of revenue and Downtime incurred costs to get the systems back online again.
- Reduced staff productivity and morale
- Backed up orders
- Reduced or none existent serviceability.
- Potential overtime costs to repair systems, catch up on productivity.
- Loss of customer confidence which can lead to brand damage ex. “Don’t use McGregor’s Stationary, they have issues delivering on time.”
- Ripple effects that could impact the business for months post-downtime.
IT resilience, however, is much more than just mitigating the effects of downtime.
If a disaster were to strike would your business perish or would it be up and running again in a matter of hours? The latter signifies good IT resilience whereas the former is proof of the lack thereof.
Here are some things you should look at to get you on your way to IT Resilience:
Power Outage Protection
Computers run on power and power failures are becoming an everyday ordeal and the simple fact of the matter is that you can’t afford to be without a backup plan.
Sudden loss of power can have nasty effects on your productivity; it can sometimes wipe away weeks’ worth of work and scramble a system into oblivion.
The first step is to invest in a quality UPS system for each computer.
UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) is a device that is rooted between the computer and the power supply, it can detect any changes (drops or surges) in the power supplied to the computer and will switch to battery backup when the voltage drops too low.
It will also supply a constant stream of voltage to your pc, which protects it from power spikes.
What that does is give you the time to save and backup any important projects that you are working on.
Generators are the most important tool for business continuity when it comes to power failures.
Sometimes there will be a generator backup system for the entire building but if that isn’t the case then you have no choice but to invest in your own.
You will need to determine what is the right size generator for your business, and then you will have to make sure that it is properly installed with an ATS.
An ATS is an Automated Transfer Switch; it will systematically transfer the load of power from one source to another. However, this can take anywhere from 2 – 2- minutes which is why a UPS system is so important.
What is Backup and Data Recovery?
A backup is simply a duplicate of data, applications or processes to an alternate location. It’s important to store vital information in more than one place because there are so many threats to business systems these days.
Data Recovery, however, refers to how quickly and successfully said backups can be recovered in a disastrous event.
Both of these are important, but integrating them is the next step to business continuity and improved serviceability.
Traditional vs. Modern Backup and Data Recovery
A traditional backup system entails manually backing up systems to an extra pc/ hard drive/ backup appliance, has to be manually tested, upheld and is a constant source of headaches for a small business owner.
Modern Backup systems also have appliances, but these are smart devices that need little to no human intervention and automatically duplicate backups to a cloud.
Backing up to only a cloud is also a very popular option for modern backup systems.
But there are some major issues with traditional backups:
- It’s a bulky, inefficient and time-consuming process that has to be repeated daily (which can lead to excessive costs for extra IT techs)
- Testing has to be done manually and can be inefficient and often much too late to recover corrupted data.
- There is no protection against ransomware.
- The recovery process is long and costly and often unsuccessful and at times impossible.
- Has no safeguard in place for natural disasters or theft.
- It may seem cheaper until you have to recover corrupted data, stolen hardware and eventually completely restart all of your business systems.
- Searching for the data you need (data recovery) can be frustrating and time-consuming.
- When disaster strikes you can’t carry your servers with you to safety.
Meanwhile, modern IT Resilience Solutions are simply brilliant.
- There are all in one devices that act as a local backup whilst also transferring backups to the cloud and integrates systems and application seamlessly.
- This means that your backups are done time efficiently and effectively and
- Your downtime is cut in half.
- Features integrated disaster recovery testing with a built-in notification system.
- Has built-in ransomware protection that can stop malware in its tracks.
- The appliances feature predictive analytics that can anticipate hardware related issues from a mile away.
- Should worst come to worst, you can operate your business from the cloud. How cool is that?
- Data recovery is relatively painless and very effective.
- Offers greatest resilience and continuity to modern day businesses.
Finding the right plan for your business can be daunting but it’s in your best interest to push forward and find innovative solutions that work for your business.
If you’ve liked this post you will also like, Have you set up Your Services Business for Success?
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This is blog post post number 460