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So Your Office is Under Water…

With recent floods in Calgary and Toronto it seems like a great time to discuss a couple of words that get too lightly thrown around the IT community: disaster recovery. Even though 42% of IT managers will experience data loss this year, according to IDG Research Services most have inadequate DR plans and systems in place. This could be data loss from a natural disaster, like Calgary and Toronto, or form many other causes (system failures, employee theft, etc.).

That said, let’s look at a common sense approach to make sure your business has a sound DR plan in place.


There is a lot of technology out there to help protect your data. You hear the buzz words all the time. “… cloud, data automation, continuous, offsite, site-to-site …” and the list can go on. Whatever the terminology, your business should take advantage of the advances over the last few years in data recovery. We see a lot of success with are continual data protection appliances – co-located to provide transparent and continuous data backup both on and off-site. And, even better, they’re affordable.


Document your business critical systems. Document your procedures. Document your people. Document your document! The message is pretty simple: record what you use, how you get it back (recovery) and who is responsible for action. This process does not have to be expensive or complicated, but it will deliver a huge impact on your DR efforts.


Implementing technology and documenting process is useless if it’s kept a secret. Your employees should understand what happens in the event of a disaster, and what to expect as you move back towards “normal” operations. If relevant to your business model, use your public media (corporate website, social channels and email) to communicate with your clients and partners. Keeping them informed can sometimes make a big difference and benefit your relationship with them.


Don’t let your systems, documents and communication plans collect dust. Figure out a comfortable update strategy (annually, bi-annually, quarterly, etc.) and empower someone to update the relevant pieces. The only thing worse than no plan is an outdated plan.

Much of this information may be easily attainable within your company, but don’t be scared to hire a technology expert who has led these initiatives before. It’s money well spent. And while all this might sound like a lot remember, avoiding panic, confusion and understanding a recovery path for your business data in the event of a disaster will make your business stronger and help you sleep better at night.