Small business owners invest a great amount of money, time and effort to turn their ventures into success stories, but often fail to come up with a disaster recovery plan. And unfortunately disasters come in many shapes and forms; from natural disasters to man-made ones.
As more and more companies become dependent on computers and the internet to operate, an IT-related disaster can have devastating consequences, especially if your technical staff don’t know how to deal with the problem.
Small and medium-sized companies often only hire one IT professional to take care of that side of the business, or none at all, which might very well be a solution that works for the company in question. However, as is the case with all individuals and all professions, this person will have a unique set of skills. This means that he or she might be a wizard when it comes to email but not so experienced when it comes to firewalls.
The point here is that a company needs to be prepared for a number of different IT disasters, and that it is very hard for one person (or even two or three) to master all the skills required to tackle these problems, sometimes even impossible.
Have you as a business owner, thought about what to do if your IT staff are ill and can’t deal with a problem for days? What about when your computers get attacked by malware you don’t know how to fight? Or when the network is down and you have no idea what the issue is?
Failing to fix an IT issue in a timely manner can result in lost productivity, money and business.
Being prepared and having a back-up plan is always a good idea, no matter what we’re talking about. A plan for your IT department might include:
– Paying a Managed Services Provider (MSP) for an agreed number of hours’ work per month. If there are any big issues you can always forward them to your MSP and focus on your business instead.
– Outsourcing certain parts of your IT that your in-house staff don’t have the time to or don’t know how to deal with, such as email archiving or firewall security.
– Continuously training staff so that they are up-to-date with the newest developments and changes in the industry.
– Make sure you have a data backup and recovery plan in place. Cloud backup technology drastically reduces the risk of security breaches.
– If nothing else, at least have the contact details for someone you can call in case of an emergency.
A disaster plan might lead to extra expenses, but these costs will be small compared to what can happen if you’re not prepared for an IT problem your technical department can’t sort out.