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The Importance of IT Consulting in Disaster Recovery Planning

Perhaps the most difficult thing about disasters is that you can never really tell when they’re going to strike. Nor can you anticipate the level of damage they’ll leave behind. For many business owners, one bad storm, cybersecurity event, or system failure can put their operations out of commission for weeks, affecting compliance, productivity, profitability, and customer experiences for years to come.

While such circumstances may sound bleak, they can, in fact, be avoided with proper disaster recovery (DR) planning. But that’s only the case when an experienced professional properly executes things. As such, if you’re thinking about creating a disaster recovery plan, discover why you should invest in IT consulting for help below.

What Is Disaster Recovery, and Why Does It Matter?

At its core, disaster recovery determines how you regain access to your system(s) after a disruptive event. While disasters themselves may be random, recovery should not be. From regular cloud backups to automation and virtualization, DR tools are important because they can help you get back up and running in record time.

The essential nature of DR and business continuity was especially evident on January 11, 2023, during a database outage that affected the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) Notice to Air Missions system. Because of its old infrastructure, the agency lacked high-availability solutions that could have made business continuity possible. As a result, flights were grounded, leaving passengers stranded for hours.

It can be frightening to think of how much it ended up costing airlines to refund their customers and offer compensatory perks, not to mention the loss of reputation from those who inevitably blamed those airlines. Had the FAA consulted IT experts to handle its disaster recovery planning, the system could likely have been restored in a much shorter time frame.

How IT Consultants Can Help With Proper Disaster Recovery

Organizations still have a long way to go with disaster recovery, as only 54% have company-wide DR plans, and less than half test them annually. Additionally, IBM found that roughly 50 to 60% of organizations had experienced a data breach or ransomware attack, but only 35% had a cyber security-specific DR plan for it. The public sector is doing worse, with only 36% of government IT having DR plans in place.

Clearly, business owners and government officials need help understanding why consulting an IT professional to develop a disaster recovery plan is essential. If you fall into that same category, here are a few reasons why it’s in your best interests to do so today:

Understanding Vulnerabilities

Crafting a proper DR plan requires an in-depth understanding of your current weaknesses. From natural disasters to cyberattacks, an IT consultant can pinpoint where you’re likely to experience the most issues in the event of a disaster and help you create a plan for shoring up those weaknesses.

Knowledge of Key Solutions

IT consultants work with different types of businesses, all with varied needs. Consequently, they’ll identify key solutions to help you execute your disaster recovery plan. For example, virtualization can help you create digital machines to access mission-critical applications after a disaster. And cloud backups will allow you to access data from anywhere.

Regular Testing and Training

An effective DR plan must be tried and tested before an actual disaster occurs. A reputable IT consultant has likely seen many disaster scenarios and can simulate what might happen in each one of them. They can also help train your staff on how to respond if disaster strikes, ensuring everyone on your team is ready for the unthinkable.

Business Impact Analysis

Some business functions are more critical than others, and those are the ones you want to get back up and running right after disaster strikes. An IT consultant can bolster your plan with a customized business impact analysis so you know which recovery tasks to prioritize.

Get the Support You Require When You Need It Most

Perhaps the most important role of IT consultants in disaster recovery scenarios is providing around-the-clock support when it matters most. Unless you’re an IT professional yourself, there’s a high likelihood you’ll have a lot of questions when a disaster occurs.

With the support of an IT consultant, you won’t have to Google your way to answers. In any recovery situation, time is of the essence. Having a plan in place allows you to mitigate the problem, limit the damage to your systems and business, and get back on track in record time.

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