Think HBR

Digitising critical paper documents the best disaster-recovery plan

Haydn Bridge

Hunter businesses have become accustomed to the unfortunate reality of natural disasters — including that they strike with little warning.
The 1989 earthquake, raging bushfires, and flooding and tempestuous weather have all made their mark on our region over time. While generally detrimental, these natural disasters have contributed positively to Hunter businesses’ robust character and taught us some critical lessons. (And although we’re grateful for the lessons, we feel no gratitude to the disasters!)
A business’s wellbeing is critical to the financial wellbeing of its owners and employees, as well as the community’s economy. So it goes without saying that owners and managers need to give careful thought to an emergency management plan that gives the business its best chance of survival after a catastrophic event.
Insurance covers those assets which are essentially replaceable: property, plant, equipment, cash, stock and so on.
But what about the irreplaceable, critical data residing in your IT system or network?
A good IT disaster recovery and backup plan should cover off on recovering such information.
A major weakness in many business’s continuity and emergency management plans is the huge amount of vital, irreplaceable information in paper documents and files … documents that can so easily be lost or destroyed in a disaster, and then really be gone for good.
Despite being in the digital age, Hunter businesses (and we’re not alone here) still place an enormous reliance in information on paper: proving that a contract was delivered upon, confirming that an employee was trained and qualified for a particular job, or that a key supplier did
agree to supply their product at a special discount… the list is endless.
If fire or flood destroyed the paper documents backing up the above examples, the business would have a very difficult time “continuing” (read “surviving”) after the catastrophe, thereby exposing itself to enormous risk and cost just to keep going. The simple solution to this not-oftenconsidered issue is to get all the business’s critical paper documents scanned and stored as digital files, where they will be backed up and recoverable as with all other IT data.
It’s a simple process, but unless a business has dedicated the time and resources to do it properly, it’s usually set aside “for later”. Viatek has set up a costeffective, outsourced solution to handle this issue efficiently and effectively — and it’s based right here in the Hunter.
For further information contact Viatek on (02) 4969 4888, email or visit