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Disaster Recovery Planning for Small Businesses

Disaster Recovery Planning for Small Businesses

21st December 2023

Disasters can happen at any time - regardless of how well-equipped or prepared we are to face them. 

For large-scale companies, an electrical shortage or burst pipe can be a disruptive but minor setback; for small businesses, they can be disastrous. If your business works from a single premises or small network, a flooded office or damaged router could have the potential to grind activity to a complete halt.  

This is where disaster recovery planning becomes a critical business strategy to have in place. 

What is Disaster Recovery Planning?  

Disaster Recovery Planning is a strategy or series of systems which can be put into place to help a business prepare or respond to potential disruptions, setbacks, or unforeseen emergencies which could interrupt or negatively affect operations.  

For businesses, potential ‘disasters’ can range from physical or natural occurrences (such as extreme weather, earthquakes, burst pipes, or damaged equipment) to human error or digital failures (including cyber-attacks, data breaches, server losses, etc.) - any unanticipated event with the potential to interrupt or shut down a company’s everyday activity can be seen as a disaster.  

The primary intention of disaster recovery planning is to minimise the impact of unexpected disruptions by mitigating data-loss, reducing down-time, and preventing financial losses.  

Your Disaster Recovery Plan may include: 


Are there potential risks or vulnerabilities that the business may face, either internally or externally? Assessing the hypothetical impact of disruption to aspects of your business such as infrastructure, security, data, etc. can help put safety-net systems in place to protect your interests and assets. 

For example: if you work in the financial sector, your business may be more likely to face the threat of cyber-attacks. Acknowledging this risk through disaster recovery planning will allow you to stay one step ahead and protect the data of your company and clientele alike.  


Recovery Time Objective (RTO) / Recovery Point Objective (RPO 

Setting RTOs and RPOs give your business measurable targets and limits for how quickly your operational systems and data should be recovered after a disaster, as well as a maximum limit for how much data loss the business can allow for.  

The principal difference between RTO and RPO metrics is their purposes. 

While a Recovery Time Objective considers your business on a larger scale (including major systems, networks, etc.), a Recovery Point Objective is more closely concerned with data, and how resilient your operations are in case of a major data loss - this will inform how often your data needs to be backed up on a general basis.  

While performing individual functions, defining your RTO and RPO will be essential in planning for disaster recovery. 


Business Impact Analysis (BIA) 

Which systems and networks are most critical to your business? How could they be operationally or financially disrupted in a disaster scenario? Which steps should be in place to mitigate these risks?  

Should an unexpected problem arise, Business Impact Analysis will help you to outline and manage resources and prioritise recovery efforts to get you back on track as swiftly as possible.  


Infrastructural Response 

A good disaster recovery strategy will ideally work proactively to preemptively protect your business - before a problem ever arises. An example of this could be implementing failsafe infrastructure protocols, designed to protect critical operations in case of system failure.  

Your IT support provider should work with you to outline operational factors such as key company roles, personnel, data backup, and recovery procedures.  

Additionally, your disaster recovery plan should be regularly tested, evaluated, and updated - with procedural training and resources administered as needed. 


How can I create a Disaster Recovery Plan? 

Host My Office offers cost-effective and comprehensive disaster recovery plans for business, which are equipped to handle and minimise the impact of any unforeseen problems.  

With our recovery planning services, businesses can breathe easy with the confidence that even if disaster should strike, we’ll swiftly have your systems back up and running as normal.  

You’ll not only have access to one of the UK’s most robust data backup and recovery systems but will also receive cohesive support and guidance from our team of consultants to help put your disaster recovery plan into action. 

By strategizing your disaster recovery plan with Host My Office, your business reaps the added benefit of a free IT audit, which will give you a comprehensive understanding of your current IT infrastructure and estate - before you even begin the disaster-proofing process.  

Effective disaster recovery planning is crucial for small businesses - book a free consultation and get prepared with Host My Office. 

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