Recently we finished a project for a customer where we automated their Excel Spreadsheet Reports and Charts, which they used to produce customer data and provide commentary on the results. The projects aim was to take a 2 day manual process and reduce it to a task that could be run nearly instantly and allow more time to be devoted to the analysis of the data rather than it’s preparation.
So you have your systems in place, you have your documentation and if things go south in true Gloria Gaynor style ‘You Will Survive’. But will you? Will it work?
IT systems are one of your most vulnerable to outages in general. They can fail in many ways but they can also be mitigated against to provide different levels of redundancy. Below are some possible failures and mitigating options. This is not exhaustive by any means but shows what is possible.
So you know what might happen, you know what needs to be done if it does, and you know what you’re missing. Now it’s time to get the ducks lined up and in true Hannibal Smith style have the plan come together.
The best way I’ve found to create a DR plan that addresses as many potential issues as possible is to set yourself some scenarios. This helps to provide focus for you and others on what would happen in the event of something going wrong. Scenarios can include:
Disaster Recovery comes in many shapes and sizes. When making your disaster recovery plans you need to ask yourself a number of questions at the start to keep you focused on what you are trying to accomplish, what is realistic and what should be prioritised.
Those people that watched the IT crowd will know that the scene when the ‘internet’ gets destroyed in an office brawl but sometimes we see very similar scenes when the connection drops and suddenly we’ve lost email, and web access.
Knowing what to do to identify the issue is the best way of avoiding the panic and get you back up and running as quickly as possible. Below are the quick win steps to identify what’s gone wrong and hopefully fix the issue.
With today’s modern WiFi offices we sometimes forget that cable in most cases is still king. While the technology has come on in leaps and bounds with the advent of ‘n’ and now ‘ac’ we still see that assuming your cable goes directly to a switch (i.e. you don’t have a daisy chain of hubs and switches) you will get much better response times and speeds from the old fashioned twisted copper cable.
IT has a habit of being looked at as a cost centre in most companies. A necessary evil so that the accounts can be entered, reports run, till systems totaled, and emails sent. This is also evident in the fact that in most SME’s IT comes under the remit of the finance department.