Single points of failure are a danger in any area of your business, but particularly IT. Reduce your risk so your business can always take flight.
Businesses usually start simple. But then they grow, adding more and more moving parts.
That’s a great thing. But it also increases the risk of single points of failure. That’s where lots of those moving parts depend on a single component, system or person. And if that single thing stops working, then the whole thing comes to a halt.
IT can be one of those single points of failure – but it doesn’t need to be. You just need a few simple backups and contingencies. Because the leanest system isn’t actually always the most efficient – even if it might seem so on paper.
Defeat your single points of failure with this simple package
Document your accounts and processes.
Put backup and disaster recovery in place.
Get your systems and data in the cloud.
Keep your data in New Zealand.
Develop a business continuity plan.
Now, some of this you can do yourself, but to get something closer to bulletproof: register with us today.
Document your accounts and processes – and not just with one person
If knowledge about your accounts, systems and processes all rest with one person, what happens when that person is sick? Or on holiday? Gets hit by a bus? Or just decides to up and leave? Some of those scenarios are more likely than others, but they’re all possible. So how can you prepare?
- Document your processes. Have your staff document what they do and how they do it, so someone else could pick it up as an instruction manual and run with it. Store it in a secure, central place (with access restricted appropriately). IT Glue is a great option for this – it’s what we use to keep our client processes documented. (By the way, make sure your IT provider does something similar!)
- Take an active interest in your IT. It can be tempting to leave everything up to “the IT person”. But that’s no good if the IT person is suddenly no longer there. So be a little bit of an “IT person” yourself. Understand what you’ve got, why you’ve got it, what it does, how it does it and what you could do to make it even better. Know the risks and the opportunities. It’ll help your business day-to-day as well.
Put backup and disaster recovery in place
If you lost your data and business applications, could you keep working? Would your customers be happy? Would your bank balance stay at the same level?
If the answer to any of these is no, then you need to think about backup/disaster recovery. It gives you the peace of mind that you’ll be able to keep going even if something goes really wrong.
- Backup is creating a copy of your data in another location. It enables you to get a safe, intact copy of a file if you lose the original for any reason.
- Disaster recovery takes it a step further. It’s about restoring your entire system in the event you lose the whole thing, or a considerable portion of it.
Get your systems and data in the cloud
Sunday night, your office burns down. Or it’s hit by an earthquake. Or there’s a flood. Or a heavy dump of snow keeps your staff off the roads. Or even a bunch of parents need to stay home with sick kids.
Point is, there’s a lot of things that could stop you and your staff from working at the office. Which makes a cloud-hosted solution a great option, coupled with remote access tools. It lets you work anywhere you have a device and an internet connection. Which means a physical location doesn’t act as a single point of failure.
Plus: it’s more reliable than an on-premise server. Backup power, multiple internet connections and all kinds of physical and electronic security means your data stays safe and accessible.
Keep your data in New Zealand
Putting your data in the cloud is a good call, but you should still think about the kind of cloud you choose.
- All cloud data is delivered via an internet connection.
- All internet traffic between New Zealand and other countries travels across just two cables.
- If those cables are compromised, internet service is either stopped or compromised.
- So overseas cloud hosting becomes another significant single point of failure.
Keeping cloud data in New Zealand is more reliable, with better performance. Choose cloud wisely.
Develop a business continuity plan
A business continuity plan is a set of procedures, processes and responsibilities that ensures your business keeps going during an unplanned event.
It includes the kind of things we’ve talked about in this article, as well as communicating with staff and clients. It means when disaster strikes, you can get the core parts of your business up and running again.
- Identify the risks and single points of failure.
- Identify ways to address these.
- Ensure you’ve got the tools and resources to get through.
- Assign responsibilities.