Some businesses are moving away from developing a detailed, in-house, disaster recovery plan since they decided to move to the cloud. The general belief behind that lack of action is that their data is safe in the cloud.
However, it never hurts to ask extra questions and take additional action from your end, like also creating your own data backups even if the best cloud hosting provider makes them as well.
Although your critical data is generally safe in the cloud, especially in a dedicated server hosting setting, you do need to make sure you completely understand how your hosting provider ensures that safety. Do they use high quality encryption? Do they perform multiple back-ups? Is the data stored in multiple locations? What is their own specific disaster recovery plan?
Let's say that your Sage or QuickBooks cloud provider has implemented the highest security practices possible. Even though your business data is technically safe, you still need to put a disaster recovery plan in place. In fact, your business needs a disaster recovery plan that's even more detailed than it was before you moved to the cloud.
Why Should I Have a Disaster Recovery Plan for My Business?
Threats to your business can come out of nowhere (the COVID pandemic is a perfect example of this) from anywhere. You may not know exactly what threat you might be facing tomorrow. However, that's not a good reason to avoid planning and developing a solid framework.
After you take time to create a disaster recovery plan, you'll be laughing in the face of threats before you know it. Ok, maybe you won't be laughing until you feel like your business and data are safe...
Anyway, here's a few quick points to consider as you develop your plan.
Disaster Recovery Plan Outline
It's all in the details. When developing your disaster recovery plan, include the answers to these questions:
- Where will employees work? Will they work-from-home like during the COVID-19 pandemic when stay-in-place was implemented?
- What technology will they need to access necessary files?
- How will the physical premises be rebuilt?
- Which in-house IT services will need to be kept operational and which can be suspended?
How to Train Staff for Disaster Planning and Recovery
In addition to developing a disaster plan for your business, you need to properly training your staff to handle an emergency. After all, this is key to coming out the other end happy, whole and ready for more positive growth
Disaster Training Basics for Staff
- Check your media strategies. Tell staff to avoid saying anything about the situation directly to media or on any social media platform.
- Choose a media spokesperson (even if that person is you!). Enroll that person in workshops (in person or online) that will teach them how to speak publicly about your company and how it handles disaster.
- Test your plan. Creating a detailed disaster recovery plan only goes so far. If it doesn't hold up in a real life situation, all the time and money spent on it is wasted.
- Set measurable training goals. If you plan on running training sessions during a regular weekly meeting, write down the specific goals you want to achieve. Do you want to make sure your staff knows how to identify and handle malware and ransomware sent via email? Focus a session just on that. Figure out how to measure training success over time. You might put staff through a quarterly drill, for instance.
- Be the teacher. Sure, you're the owner of your own accounting or financial services firm. No one knows your business, its risks, and rewards like you. Figure out what aspects of disaster planning is vital for your staff to know, and teach them in a way that accounts for differences in generations and learning styles. Don't worry. Reaching everyone is easier than you might realize.
Disaster Training Details
- Speak the message. First explain verbally what the focus of the training session will be. Second, explain what you expect your staff to take away from it. Third, give a brief overview of why the subject of the day's training is important.
- Show the message. Words are great. But, pictures have a way of sticking to our brains. Use images to explain the process you're training your staff to remember. Enlarge the images, print them off and tape them to the wall. The message will be in front of their eyes throughout the session.
- Does your business work in the cloud? No problem. Create visuals and store them in an easily accessible file. They'll always be on hand for easy reference. In some ways, online training can simplify and streamline the sessions.
- Test it. Running through a mock disaster using role play is a proven way to help staff understand and remember every bit of vital information. Don't limit yourself to just one run-through. Test and re-test often.
- Teach and re-teach. You've led your staff through all the scenarios. They're bona fide experts in disaster planning and recovery. But, you're not done yet. Take them through the exact same training after a few months passes. Repetition is key to embedding the processes deep into our psyches.
How Does Cloud Hosting Work With Your Disaster Plan?
Do you have questions about how cloud computing fits into your disaster plan? Let us know! We're here to help - just call 888-244-6559 or fill out this contact us form today.