What’s Your Disaster Recovery Plan?

New South Wales recently experienced some of the worst flooding and storms we’ve seen in over 10 years. Many businesses were left without electricity for days, and some were completely destroyed in the horrific flooding. Alister Maple-Brown, CEO of Rockend, discusses how you can take better precautions to protect your critical business data.

As you can imagine, unexpected events like the NSW floods can have a detrimental effect on a business. How would you cope if you suddenly lost all your management agreements, leases and condition reports as a result of something over which you had no control? Does your company currently have a disaster recovery plan? If not, now’s the time to implement a strategy to safeguard your business. There are a variety of ways to store data; which option suits you best?

There is a common misconception that data backups consume too much time and cost too much, but the time and money costs of the downtime your business would face if you lost all your data are immeasurable. To maintain an effective and structured backup system it is best your business implements a data plan and backup schedule. Having a dedicated schedule will eliminate data duplication and ensure all backups are completed daily. It is important to ensure the entirety of your business’ data is backed up and stored offsite.

How often do you currently back up your data? It may come as a shock to you that all data should be backed up at least once per day. Australian law requires all businesses to store a copy of their data offsite, in case of incidents such as flood, fire, power or disk failure. Data storage and backups should be a priority in your business, especially around mid-month or end of month processing.

First National Oxley experienced flooding firsthand during the 2011 Brisbane floods. The entirety of their office was inundated with water, destroying all their paper files. Luckily, the business had stored all of their documents electronically using fileSMART. Principal Geoff Hawker explains, “Without our use of fileSMART over the past five years it would have been impossible to reconstruct all the files that were destroyed during the floods.”

An electronic document management system, such as fileSMART, enables the scanning, electronic filing and fast search and retrieval of documents. Implementing such a system not only backs up data but offers a secure, centralised location to store documents safely, with virtually unlimited filing capacity, protecting your most valuable assets. By having an electronic document management system in place First National Oxley were up and running far faster than expected. “We were back in business as soon as the water cleared from the office, thanks to our ability to retrieve documents from fileSMART and the assistance from the First National network.”

Many people but do not understand ‘the cloud’, or how it can benefit their business. The cloud is essentially the offsite storage of your data, accessible via the internet. You may be familiar with the data storage service Dropbox, a remote storage solution for users. There is a variety of cloud platforms that provide a similar service but on a much larger scale, providing offsite data storage for the entirety of your business. Cloud storage is accessible 24/7 via the internet, eliminating downtime if your business does suffer data loss. Researching and selecting a reputable cloud provider is highly recommended to ensure your sensitive data is stored with a trustworthy service provider.

Alternatively, your office could switch to a cloud-based software system, such as PropertyTree. Many cloud-based software programs back up your data for you, some as frequently as every 15 minutes. Data backups in cloud-based software eliminate the need for servers, backup disks or drives, freeing up time to run your business. To ensure this is an effective backup system it is important that all paper documents are scanned and stored electronically.
There are a variety of ways to store and maintain your data. Take the time to evaluate your current system and determine the best system for your business moving forward.

Show More

Alister Maple-Brown

Alister Maple-Brown is the CEO of leading property management software provider Rockend. For more information visit rockend.com.au.