If you want to know what IT downtime is costing your business then use our simple IT downtime calculator. It will do one of two things: a) make you realise that you should be reducing IT downtime or b) give you a comfortable feeling that IT downtime isn’t costing your business much and you can relax.
If you fall into category a) then read on.
5 tips to minimise IT downtime in your business:
1. Practice a recovery of your systems. Yes, I know that having the time just to test whether your data is backing up successfully is questionable but there are good reasons to practice a full recovery. Firstly, it is the only way to ensure that your recovery plan works. Does everyone have the right authorities to carry out their roles? And is the information required to recover your systems to hand if you are without access to them? There are lots of reasons that a recovery could fail, which means more IT downtime and higher cost to your business so it’s best to work through them prior to a disaster happening. Secondly, with practice, recovery time or ‘return to service’ time reduces. It’s likely that when you complete your first recovery there will be tens or hundreds of errors that need to be worked through. Because of the frequency of IT changes, it’s likely that your recovery protocol will need updating regularly. Finally, an IT disaster is a stressful situation. If it’s practiced then in a real situation everybody copes much better and productivity will resume more quickly.
2. Have a business continuity plan in place and review it annually. There are many resources to help you with this including our free disaster recovery plan template. Work through it but ensure that it’s implemented correctly. We have another blog on how to implement a DR plan successfully. If you have a plan in place and people know how to access it and use it in an emergency then you’re more likely to success when disaster strikes.
3. Outsource your disaster recovery. If you don’t have time to give it the attention it needs (and nearly 50% of companies never test their DR plan), then outsource to a specialist. In the event of an IT disaster they will be calm as they deal with IT disasters daily. Because they will have all the procedures nailed down and practiced regularly they will usually be able to recover you more quickly.
4. Use Pre-recovery. If you can utilize Pre-recovery within your disaster recovery strategy then this will significantly reduce your downtime. Pre-recovery means your IT systems are recovered in advance onto a replica system. By doing this you will automatically be testing your recovery every time you perform a Pre-recovery. You’ll guarantee that your recoveries work and have instantaneous recovery.
5. Keep human error to a minimum. The majority of downtime is caused by human error. Whilst it’s impossible not to have human intervention with your IT system, think about whether you outsource more to experts or automate more within your business.
by: Tim Dunger