We hope you find this list before disaster strikes and you have the chance to integrate it into your business’ recovery plan. However, if the worst has already happened, it’s not too late to regain control of the situation. We’ve listed five key steps to help you recover from a business software disaster, and you can find information about further help at the end of this article.
Determine What Your Business Needs First
These steps may not be in order, but this point should always come first. Your needs and priorities are unique to your business, and you need a plan of action to help you prioritize. You may need to temporarily redirect business, use third party resources, or alert your clients about time sensitive materials or services the disaster has delayed. This may take precedence over recovery until the end of the business day, or you may assign a separate team to handle operations until your main system is back online. Temporary solutions may be the best for the moment, or you may need your full system online before you can handle any business whatsoever.
If you have the opportunity to make an IT recovery plan in advance, take the opportunity. Computers manage communications, production, shipping, customer service, billing, and essentially every other business function. Without these tools, it’s difficult or impossible for any part of your business to operate. By planning ahead, you can complete this first step in advance and have the services you will need armed and ready in case of a disaster. This allows you to get your business up and running again faster and reduces the chance of making poor decisions in the heat of the moment.
Check Your Backup or Recovery Service
This step helps you identify the scale of a business disaster. While an interruption in daily functions is still a problem, it’s nothing like losing data. Take this opportunity to determine if you’ve lost any information, whether you can recover that information, and whether any of your business’ data has been compromised.
Again, it’s best to plan in advance. While most businesses use some form of backup service, whether it be cloud storage or a third party server, few have actual recovery services. Planning ahead allows you to choose the best option for your company without the pressure of an immediate disaster. This also allows you to cement your disaster recovery plan in advance with a team of professionals.
Determine Damage to Hardware
Even though this list is dedicated to software, your hardware may still play a role in a software disaster. It’s also possible when the system went down you initially misdiagnosed, or simply assumed, that your software was at fault. Check servers, individual desktops, networks, wireless devices, etc. You may discover the disaster is limited to a particular department with outdated terminals, or you may find something has gone wrong with a specific floor’s wireless network. When your system is down, you are blind, so you must slow down and carefully examine every link in the chain to determine where the chain snapped.
Once you’ve determined the fault isn’t in your hardware, it’s time to examine your software. You may find incompatible programs, outdated software, or bugs that need fixing. Your IT staff may need help, which is why it’s important to set up a working relationship with an IT recovery service in advance. If you’ve ever worked with a custom software development company, check to see if they offer recovery services before taking your business elsewhere. Not only will your custom software development company have the best working knowledge of your system, but they may have seen similar problems in the past. They are your best bet for speedy IT recovery.
Check or Restore Connectivity
During your IT crisis, you may have lost or intentionally severed your internet connection. When you are ready to bring your systems back online, check to make sure your connection hardware is undamaged. While the root of an IT disaster may lie somewhere else, it’s easy for low lying cables and other hardware to become damaged, especially when severe weather is involved.
Connectivity issues account for a host of IT disasters on their own. During storm season, it’s especially important to keep a backup plan on standby in case of power outages or connectivity failures. If your primary link to the internet goes out, do you have an alternative on hand? Do you have backup generators to keep your system running?
You can’t predict a software disaster, but you can prepare for it. Your software is part of a complex computer system, and you must check every component before you can be sure you’ve resolved the problem. By planning what to do in advance, you can prevent a disaster from spiraling out of control.