Three words changed everything: “Burn the ships.”
It was 1519. The Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés was intent on conquering the Aztec Empire. His men, however, were dubious. There were whispers of possible mutiny. Rather than risking an uprising or tolerating cowardice, Cortés chose to take drastic measures.
After landing on the coast of Mexico, he ordered the ships burned. From that point forward, his men had no choice. Victory or death.
As an interesting aside, there’s some debate among historians about the whole ship burning incident. Some hold that Cortés didn’t burn his ships, but scuttle them. Either way, he removed the option of retreat, and the outcome was the same. He succeeded where others had failed.
What if Cortés and his men hadn’t been ready for a hard-fought campaign? What if they’d landed on Mexico’s shore without military supplies? No weapons. No training. No plan for conquest.
And what if Cortés had still destroyed their ships?
It would have been a disaster. Instead of uniting and mobilizing his men, it would have doomed them. Marooned with no way home, no one would associate Cortés with bold determination. Instead, his story would be a cautionary tale of poor preparation.
Before the fire.
What matters is being ready before things get challenging. Soldiers run drills. Athletes train. Students study.
Preparation is fundamental for success. And yet, 75% of all SMBs don’t have a disaster recovery plan.
If you wait until something goes wrong, you could lose data and suffer through downtime. And your reputation will take a hit, too. The cumulative lost ROI can quickly add up.
The disaster recovery prep checklist.
Prepping for disaster recovery is all about the details. The following checklist covers all the basics.
1. Think big and small.
When you hear the word “disaster,” you probably think first of catastrophic events. But in the world of disaster recovery, “disaster” is anything that takes your network offline. That includes the big events, like acts of God, and the small stuff, like power outages.
A well-rounded disaster recovery plan will take into account any kind of downtime.
2. Plan ahead—short and long.
Plan for short-term and long-term recovery. Here’s what we mean.
In the short-term, the thing that matters most is getting you back online, keeping operations up and running, and maintaining good communication with your staff and customers. If you have to reduce output to make that happen, so be it.
But your plan should also help facilitate long-term disaster recovery. How will you bring operations back to what they were before the disaster?
3. Back up everything.
Backup plays a significant role in any disaster recovery. It has to.
Your data is the cornerstone of your business. It drives everything you do. Without it, you’re dead in the water. Whether you elect to use a cloud-based backup solution or roll out something on-site, like the IBM Storwize V7000, make sure your data is backed up.
4. Clarify roles.
Know who will handle what well before chaos strikes. For example, who will head up customer communication? Who will oversee getting your network back online? Who will make alternate office arrangements if needed? Who will make sure all your employees are safe?
By the time something has gone wrong, it’s too late to scramble to cover these critical bases. Have a plan well ahead of time.
5. Be flexible.
Disasters are unexpected and overwhelming. That’s their nature. If we could see them coming, we’d plan for them and minimize their impact. But we rarely know when a catastrophe’s going to hit.
As a result, disaster recovery has to be flexible and fluid. Be ready to roll with the punches. Even a well-constructed disaster recovery plan will likely need to be tweaked in the moment.
6. Get some help.
Disaster recovery is a big topic. Tips 1-5 get the ball rolling, but it’s time for some candid communication. Few business leaders are up to the challenge of crafting a complete disaster recovery plan.
That’s why our sixth tip is to ask for help.
Microserve and Disaster Recovery
The Microserve team has worked with businesses of all sizes to develop strategic disaster recovery plans. Whether you’re a small company or a large, enterprise-level operation, we can help ensure you’re ready for whatever the future holds.
Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help.
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