February 23, 2016
Protect Business Data with Inventory of Files and Documents
For our latest blog series, Donna Childs will be sharing her knowledge with the Datto community. Childs is a disaster recovery expert and founder of Prisere LLC, and has advised Fortune 500 companies in risk management and operational continuity strategies. Read some of her recent posts: Getting Started With Business Continuity Planning and Making The Case For Investing In Business Continuity Measures.
In the previous blog posting of this series, we created “disaster diaries” for 30 days to record examples of when our normal business operations were disrupted.
I am certain that when you look at your notes, you will see that an unusual amount of aggravation and expense arises from the computer files and documents you need to perform your work. If part of your system is paper-based, you will be challenged to work should you be displaced from your office for even a short period. You probably have experiences were employees mistakenly deleted files or emails, this happens all of the time or frantic search efforts to locate where you stored files.
Let’s begin to protect our businesses by identifying the key files and documents necessary to continue working if we were temporarily displaced from our offices.
If you had to take your laptop or tablet to the local coffee shop for a few days, could you stay in touch with your key stakeholders? You may have files that are in paper form, such as insurance policy documents. You will need to scan those in and store them online such that you can access them remotely. You will need to develop a file classification system for different categories, such as customer files, personnel files, key contacts and the like. If you were in the coffee shop, you would not want to be searching for the file you urgently need. And once you complete that exercise you will find that work proceeds in a less stressful fashion back in your regular place of work.
Please also give thought to the files you will need should a disaster strike. These will include your commercial lease (if you work in a leased office or workplace), contact information for key stakeholders (commercial landlord, neighboring businesses, customers, suppliers, service providers, employees, etc.) and your insurance policy.
If you cannot get back in the office, you will need digital copies of these documents that you can retrieve remotely. Place them in a folder in your online storage system with an appropriate label for identification and make sure your key employees know how to access them. With this exercise, you have made significant progress towards making your business more resilient!
For more on these and other approaches to small business risk resilience, check out our recent webinar, The 5 Keys to Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan for SMBs.