Disaster Planning for Your Business’s Network

network disaster planning

Time management guru Alan Lakein once said, “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”

While the Now IT Connects team hopes that you never experience a network disaster at your business, chances are that you’ll have to respond to something unexpected at some point. Putting together a network disaster recovery plan can help you reduce the damage done to your business and help you get up and running faster.

Network Disaster Causes

While some disasters are results of fires or floods, most network disasters occur due to hardware failure, network attacks, or human error. It’s possible for even the best hardware to fail. When those failures occur in a vital piece of equipment, such as a router or modem, it can cascade that failure throughout your network. Other times, bad actors can gain access to your network through an unaddressed vulnerability and wreak havoc on your network. And human error can always cause a bad day at the office.

Identify Your Disaster Recovery Team

The first step in planning your network disaster recovery should be to identify the team that will be responsible for managing recovery tasks. This team should include staff from all departments so the plan accounts for every piece of technology and potential disruption a disaster would cause. Your disaster recover plan should assign specific tasks to each team member so everyone knows how to leap into action if a network disaster occurs.

Plan How You’ll Recover

In addition to identifying your disaster recovery team, your plan should include concrete steps that will get your business up and running as quickly as possible. Prioritize the steps you’ll take so you minimize disruptions and delays. Identify the essential operations you’ll need to get back up as soon as possible as well as the non-essential tasks that can wait a few hours or a few days to get back to normal.

A thorough disaster recovery plan articulates every detail about what is to be done in the event of a network disaster. Step-by-step plans allows your team to act swiftly without wasting precious time figuring out what to do next. The time spent planning your recovery will save you countless hours and frustration later.

Put a Prevention Plan into Place

As Lakein said, planning lets you take action now on future events. By investing in the time and effort to put together a disaster recovery plan, you should identify gaps in your current network infrastructure that you can fix now to possibly prevent a future disaster.

Your disaster recovery plan should include an inventory of all the hardware, software, and equipment at your business. This gives you an idea of the assets you have, what’s required to maintain and protect them, and any equipment that you should replace or upgrade to ensure you maintain a high level of security.

Another way to prevent loss in the event of a disaster is to implement a backup system. While some businesses still fiddle with backup tapes, most have moved their backup data to the cloud. Implement your backup solution, then make a plan to review this data quarterly.

Once you have your plan put together, it’s time to test it out. Add a disaster day to your company calendar and put your team through a simulated disaster. Give everyone a chance to practice their roles. A little practice now will help an actual recovery scenario go much more smoothly.

The Now IT Connects team helps businesses develop disaster recovery plans and backup their data to ensure it’s safe no matter what happens. For help with your own network disaster recovery plan, contact our team today.

2020 IT Trends to Watch

2020 IT Trends_Now IT Connects_Clearwater Minnesota

The IT world seems like it moves at the speed of light. There’s always a new device or service that’s competing for your attention and your dollars. That’s why we wanted to showcase a few trends that are worth watching for Minnesota companies. Which ones make your list of 2020 IT trends to watch?

5G Launches across the Country

5G is the next generation in mobile networks. Most cellphones in Minnesota rely on the 4G network. But by the end of the year, it’s possible we’ll all be enjoying much faster, more reliable connections on our mobile devices.

Currently, Verizon and T-Mobile offer 5G in some areas of their network in Minnesota. Verizon’s service is limited to certain areas of St. Paul and Minneapolis, while T-Mobile has launched 5G across the state. As 5G technology becomes more widespread, expect tech companies to develop apps that take advantage of the network’s faster, more reliable speeds. Experts predict 5G will also revolutionize the IoT, or Internet of Things. Expect to see more smart workplace devices showing up in offices, manufacturing facilities, and retailers and restaurants in 2020.

Distributed Cloud Advances Cloud Computing

First, there were local servers. Then, cloud computing exploded our idea of what it meant to store a file, buy software, and collaborate as a team. Now, distributed cloud computing is going to take us to the next level.

Most cloud networks store data at one or two large data centers in a model IT nerds call the centralized cloud. The distributed cloud allows cloud service providers to store data across one or more micro locations in a decentralized model. A decentralized cloud runs on blockchain technology, dramatically increasing data security and privacy. It helps organizations stay nimble and take advantage of the seemingly limitless storage capacity of the cloud without sending all of their data to a single, central location.

Computer Vision

As augmented and virtual reality become more mainstream, computers are becoming smarter at identifying people, items, places, and objects from an image snapped by a camera or caught by a sensor. This ability is called computer vision, and it’s what’s behind the technologies of Apple’s FaceID and Google Image Search.

With computer vision, computers on manufacturing production lines can identify and remove faulty products or alert employees when a piece of equipment has broken down. Security cameras can use vision to track unusual behavior or even to recognize faces in a crowd.

Using IT and Data Management to Build Customer Relationships

Before this post gets any more Big Brother, let’s touch on a more human 2020 IT trend. Research organization Deloitte predicts that as data becomes more ubiquitous in business, companies will leverage their data security policies and practices to build trust with the customers.

Called “ethical technology,” corporations are using their IT and data policies to reflect their core values and mission while showing their customers that they are handling their data responsibly. Taking these actions without being prompted by litigation or a data breach scare can build trust with customers and other stakeholders. If you haven’t considered using your data practices to build relationships with your customers, we encourage you to give it a serious thought.

Those are the 2020 IT trends Now IT Connects is looking forward to following. What are some of yours? Let us know on social media or contact us to keep your business running smoothly this year.