With just about every business dependent on Internet access and data being stored automatically, you need to make sure you have a plan in place to deal with a digital disaster before it happens.
Crossing your fingers and hoping your office survives just won’t work, especially if you don’t have a dedicated IT expert in your midst. Luckily, you don’t have to be a pro to be prepared. Here are three simple ways to disaster-proof your technology.
What to do with business critical documents:
You know where the most important office records are, but are they properly backed up? Ask the business owner or the person in charge of operations, if this isn’t you, if the business has anything like this set up. If not, it should definitely go on your checklist.
If important documents are not backed up, put that scanner to work and make digital copies of the business’s essential documents. Once you’ve determined that all the critical business records, plus financial and insurance documents are digitized, archive them in a safe place, like the cloud. This is a critical step, which will reduce the impact of any digital disaster
The best part about backing up to the cloud is that the backups can be scheduled to happen automatically, so you’ll always have the most recent copies of your files. With automatic backups, it doesn’t matter what happens in the office, or on a laptop at a remote location: the business information is protected and easily accessible, whenever you need it
How to keep everyone working:
The crux of a digital disaster contingency plan is to keep the business running, whether a storm is keeping everyone at home or if your building has been evacuated. That means employees will have the ability to keep working, even if they’re not at the office.
Again, this is where the cloud gets put into good use. Cloud apps like Microsoft® Office make employees’ work available to them anywhere and on any device. It doesn’t matter if they’re traveling or snowed in; as long as there’s an Internet connection, they can get their work done and you won’t be left scrambling to get the office up and running during what could be a prolonged outage. Staff will have access to all the same tools as if they were in the office—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, calendars and contact information.
Formalize the plan:
Now that everything is set up, accessible, and ready in case of disaster, make sure that everyone knows about it.
- Have a written plan that includes a communication plan and all the necessary steps for access. Store it online and give everyone in the office a copy. When an event happens, you’ll be ready to open the lines of communication.
- Brief the staff: Go the extra mile and ensure that everyone in the office is informed about the plan.
- Review the plan annually: make sure access information and contact information is updated and that any new insurance or documents are uploaded to your cloud.
Doing a little prep work ahead of time will save you a lot of headache and chaos should an emergency occur. Think of it as an insurance policy: making the small investment in a preparation plan now will pay off in the long run, especially if the improbable does happen.