Unified communications important for disaster recovery plans

    Disaster recovery plans are an integral part of any business. In order to ensure the smooth operation of a company after a natural disaster, IT departments should draft procedures that allow them to recover any lost data.

    FEMA and the National Preparedness Coalition named September National Preparedness Month. In honor of this event, small businesses are encouraged to update their business recovery plans in case anything should happen.

    Disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes or power outages can affect computer data and result in the loss of productivity and profits for a company. The longer it takes for a business to solve server problems or recover lost information, the more money a company could lose, which re-emphasizes the importance of a DR plan.

    Cloud services are necessary tool

    With the popularity of the cloud, DR plans are now easier to set up, according to InformationWeek's Kurt Marko. He explained that some available hardware options can be linked to the cloud. If a company's server was destroyed, the data that was backed-up in a cloud service could be accessed through any computer. There are even apps on mobile devices that can be used as backup. These apps could allow employees to access information and work from their personal devices, minimizing the productivity lost because of the disaster.

    In a recent survey conducted by Symantec, only 45 percent of small-to-mid-sized businesses had a disaster preparedness plan in place. If a small business fails to set up a DR plan, it shouldn't even consider coming into existence, according to Marko. The Insurance Information Institute reinforced this statement through their recent study, which found that 40 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors after a disaster because they do not have a plan.

    In case of an emergency, PCWorld suggests that companies train IT employees on how to access data through company desktops and mobile devices. Tests and re-evaluations should also be conducted every quarter to determine the effectiveness of a plan and to consider up-to-date procedures, according to Symantec.

    Owners are responsible for the well-being of their businesses and their employees. Many might not see the value of investing in DR plans because they don't have time or money, but the opportunities provided by cloud services can prepare a company for any situation and can help with unified communications.

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