It’s summertime and the living is easy. Unless you’re in a high-risk area for natural disaster that is. I mean please, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods? Those are things that happen to other companies, in other parts of the world. It’s time to chill out and worry about the only hurricane that really matters — the one that’s being poured in your glass. Besides you’re protected, right? If something truly catastrophic went down, your organization would be fine . . . right?

Might want to double-check on that one. Many companies that we’ve talked with actually don’t have an emergency response plan for their ERP systems, data and/or hardware. Even worse? They think they do. Many believe the protection they have in place to alert them to technical malfunctions or safeguard them from hackers are adequate in the face of natural disaster. But take it from us: they’re typically not. A natural disaster absolutely can wipe out all of your systems and result in total and complete ERP failure. And if you don’t have the procedures in place to deal with it, it can take weeks or even months of downtime and millions of dollars before you’re back on track. Not very relaxing is it?

Truth is, it’s time to build an ERP (emergency response plan) for your ERP. The following are some basic steps to take to ensure your systems (and your organization’s livelihood) are secured in the event of a natural disaster:

1. Back-up your data to a storage facility that is in a different area of the country than your organization. It’s best to do this nightly but if that’s out of the question, do it weekly. And make certain the storage facility or hosting solution has the technical capabilities to handle all of your needs and can help you recover your data immediately if needs be.

2. Test your back-ups to ensure that they’re working! Testing is annoying and costly but it’s also absolutely critical. Create a mock disaster for your IT department to react to and see if your data truly can be recovered.

3. Create policies and procedures around data recovery to communicate exactly what is expected of everyone before a disaster, during a disaster and after a disaster. Natural disasters can often wipe out traditional communication systems so have alternate ideas in place (e.g., using social media to connect when phone lines are down).

But don’t stop there; contact Panorama’s IT consulting professionals immediately to ensure your systems are protected and that your employees are adequately trained in both preparation and response. After all, the thing about natural disasters is no one really thinks it can happen to them . . . until it does.

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