What does the word “disaster” mean to your hotel? Have you given serious thought to how you’d cope if you lost everything in a matter of minutes? Imagine not having access to your network, servers, desktops, data, software and applications. Your hotel would essentially cease to operate until a solution was found.
This situation may sound unlikely, but it can happen to any of us at any time. You can prepare by including disaster recovery (DR) in your business continuity plan. A disaster recovery plan outlines the steps you must take to recover and can be created using the following 5-point guide.
- Establish potential threat sources
Begin by mapping out likely sources of threat. This will vary from hotel to hotel, but in general may include:
- Weather or natural disaster. These might be more prominent in rural areas
- Crime, such as break-ins and cyberattacks. Hotels are concentrated with people, so are attractive for criminals seeking valuables, money and data
- Technology failures. Hotels run on multiple systems working together, so even a single outage could stall the wider business operation
- Human error. Never forget, mistakes can happen!
- Complete a continuity analysis
Your success depends on a quick revival from disaster, with as much data and functionality restored as possible. So, look at the applications your hotel runs on, where data is stored and how long you could live without your IT. With this visibility you can understand the true risk to operations, service, brand and profitability and the DR solutions required. A specialist IT partner can assist with this.
- Implement DR technologies
Gone are the days of doubling up on hardware or relying on unsecure backups like flash drives. Today, cloud-based DR and DR as a service have made great DR accessible and affordable for every hotel.
Cloud-based virtualised servers allow you to backup applications and data at desired intervals. Should a disaster occur, you or your IT partner can access everything required to get your hotel up and running again. This can be done from anywhere, even if your physical office is inaccessible.
Offsite backup in robust, reliable data centres should also be considered. This way you know that not only is your data replicated, but it’s protected physically and digitally, too – and often for a lower cost than on-premise infrastructure.
- Test your DR plan
If your DR plan is only that, you’ll never know if it’s fit for purpose. We’ve heard many stories of DR plans and the technology that fuels them becoming obsolete before they’re activated – not that we’d want you to experience a disaster!
When your plan, technologies and services are finalised, test thoroughly and do so regularly. It may also be of value to invest in staff training and ask an external company to test your DR for assurance.
- Assign responsible owners
If something does go wrong, you need to trust that everybody will jump into position. You may want to ensure the following functions are covered:
- Calling in a disaster to all staff, service providers and if relevant, customers
- Organising the logistics of staff relocation
- Assigning workloads remotely
- Setting the DR technologies into action, whether with an internal IT team or external partner
Do you need advice about DR for your hotel? Contact Sentis Managed Solutions today on 0345 862 2930 for a comprehensive, no obligation security audit and to discuss how we can help with your DR.