Does Your Promotional Business Have a Contingency Plan?

How cloud computing could save your business in a disaster.

How would your promotional products business recover if it were affected by a disaster? Earthquakes, floods, wildfires, hacking – these are all realities that businesses face. Do you have a business continuity plan in place to ensure recovery – or better yet, nearly seamless transition?

Business disruption can be costly - insurance does not cover all costs and cannot replace customers who end up placing orders with thecompetition. Putting a business continuity plan in place long before disaster strikes is essential to business success.

An IT disaster recovery plan (DRP) should be developed in conjunction with your business continuity plan. The electronic data your business creates is crucial to its survival and continued operation. In addition to natural disasters, the impact of data loss or corruption from hardware failure, human error, hacking or malware also could be a significant issue for your business. Technology recovery strategies should be developed to restore hardware, applications and data in time to meet the needs of the business recovery.

There are multiple IT solutions available for disaster recovery, all with varying costs and speed differentials. Traditional solutions such as backup servers are costly and time consuming to maintain but could have your business back up and running in a few hours. The least expensive options, such as tape backup, demand the most time in the recovery process and often offer incomplete solutions as your IT team would have to reinstall key applications and operating systems on replacement hardware.

What if you could avoid these issues and maybe even avoid having to hire IT staff? This is what a cloud computing enterprise solution offers. As long as you have internet access and a basic computing device, you may be able to conduct business from any location – a huge advantage if your physical office location is inaccessible.

If we consider that business continuity is the process of ensuring that IT services are continuously available, with disaster recovery being the process of migrating services to a secondary location, we see that cloud computing offers an immediate solution.

Indeed, cloud computing has become increasingly popular for small businesses. It can offer significant cost savings and make your business more agile – for example, if your business or computers were inaccessible for any reason, you could potentially access all of your customer data through a cloud CRM, communicate through cloud-based email, and run the rest of your business operations – all from any location on any device and with zero downtime. Enterprise systems package several or all of your business functions together in one interface, including CRM, financial software, orders, email and more.

Wouldn’t you sleep better knowing that your entire contact database as well as all order and financial history are safe and accessible during an emergency?

As you create your IT DRP as a part of your business continuity plan, consider if cloud computing could be a solution that works for you.