What is a disaster recovery service and why does your business need it?

15 September 2020
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A disaster recovery service will help you get back up and running in the event of a disaster. There is an important distinction between disaster recovery and business continuity.  Disaster recovery being the time and plan to recover from the event which has impacted service. Business continuity being how your business continues to provide service during an event. 2020 has certainly taught us the importance of having a disaster recovery plan – and those companies who were caught unawares had to learn this the hard way.

The definition of a disaster however does not have to be on the scale of a global pandemic. 

A disaster could be something as simple as a power cut – CEO Today estimated that the power outages in the UK last an average of 50 minutes, on top of which your staff will need time to get back up and running and retrieve lost data. If you have planned what you are going to do in such an event, you will be able to get back to business as usual much more quickly. 

What is a disaster recovery service?

A disaster recovery service is essentially anything you will need to do in order to turn your disaster recovery plan into a reality. A basic requirement is to have an effective backup system in a remote data centre to minimise or eliminate the loss of data. Other provisions will depend on the specific requirements of your company. If, for example, your building suffers frequent power outages, the provision of a backup generator could be a useful investment to enable you to keep your business running. 

How much do you need to invest?

How much you need to invest in your disaster recovery service needs to be comparable to the perceived risks to your business, how likely they are to happen and what you are prepared to do to mitigate the effects. In an ideal world, your company would have a fully operational backup office that your staff could relocate to at short notice. But obviously this is a luxury not many businesses can afford!

A more cost-effective solution would be to store spare laptops which have been set up in advance and are ready to be distributed in case staff cannot get into the office and need to work from home. 

In the light of lockdown, many companies are now contemplating the move to a hosted desktop solution that offers the flexibility needed for agile working practices – a benefit that came into its own during lockdown. Companies already using hosted desktops at the beginning of this year had a huge advantage when everyone was suddenly forced to work from home – staff were able to seamlessly move from their company computers to their home laptops, working  on a familiar desktop, not experiencing any change in speed whatever their broadband connection, and without any cybersecurity concerns that would normally result from people using personal devices to access their work account. 

The importance of testing

How long can your business tolerate being down for? If your current disaster recovery solution doesn’t take this timing into consideration, you could be in for a nasty surprise. That is why it is crucial to test your solution to make sure it will work.

If, for example, your company can only tolerate being down for half a day, you need to make sure that your recovery plan doesn’t actually take longer than that to take effect. For example, if you do have a backup office that is geographically distanced, it may theoretically take an hour to drive there, but what if there is a lot of traffic or road works that will slow everyone down? 

So a vital part of the disaster recovery service is to work out the logistics and also to test that everything will go to plan, that the backup system will work, and that your staff understand what will be expected of them and will do what they need to. 

As we have seen this year, many businesses weren’t ready for a lockdown, principally because no one had really perceived it was a possibility. Now it has happened, companies are better prepared for it to happen again, but there are many potential scenarios to plan for in order to enable your business to get back up and running as quickly as possible no matter what happens.  

What our customers say

Lumina Technologies have taken the time to understand the requirements of our business and work as our strategic IT partner, enabling us to concentrate on delivering a high quality service to our clients and focus on our growth strategy. They have delivered a 100% cloud solution to our business with no underlying infrastructure costs or maintenance, which gives us scalability for our planned growth. It also means our business critical applications and data are securely accessible from virtually all our user devices. Lumina’s professional approach and strategic expertise is highly valued and their management of our IT – based on their in-depth knowledge, leaves us confident that our systems are available 24×7.

Luke Harrison
Keidan Harrison LLP

Lumina have supported us so well through the difficult circumstances of 2020.  They worked extremely hard to ensure we were able to work remotely and continue to operate our business successfully. The support team are very friendly and knowledgeable, and have excellent response times.

The team have also enhanced our cyber security which is so important in the legal sector, and they continue to provide high quality advice to help us move forward with our IT goals.

Robin Illingworth
Managing Partner, Adams & Remers LLP

The quality of IT Support provided by Lumina Technology is of the highest standard and is complemented by effective client liaison with impressive response times. Trap Oil Group plc has no hesitation in recommending Lumina as a dedicated and specialist group of IT professionals.

Martin David
Technical Director, Trap Oil Group plc

Richard and his team are a real inspiration to anyone who meets them and I have watched Lumina’s growth over the last few years with interest and admiration. Richard has been an amazing supporter of the Hospice of St Francis, being a Gold member of the Corporate Partner Network for almost two years. He takes an active interest in the community and is passionate about his company and his town: nothing is too much trouble, he is always willing to help, to give up his time and to provide business advice when asked. Lumina is an inspiration to any company wanting to set up business in Hertfordshire.

Carolyn Addison
Corporate Fundraising Manager, The Hospice of St Francis

Lumina Technologies Prism Hosted Desktop has allowed our business to centralise our global corporate data, allowing much faster access for all our staff – regardless of their location. We have also been able to simplify and reduce our infrastructure and management overhead. With the new Prism Hosted Desktop solution all staff now have simple and secure access to corporate data using any device they choose. Prism Hosted Desktop has increased the productivity of our staff and given us a single, consistent and familiar experience for all users from any device, in any location, 24/7.

Katherine Roe
Chief Executive Officer, Wentworth Resources PLC

The commercially sensitive and regulated nature of Lambert Energy Advisory’s business requires an IT provider able to maintain the highest levels of integrity and confidentiality, Lumina Technologies has consistently been unimpeachable in this regard over the nine years we have employed them.

Patrick Agar
Lambert Energy Advisory

It has been a great pleasure working with Lumina Technologies over the past two years. They have fully committed to being involved in the local community with volunteering and with professional advice and commitment, helping many local charities along the way. As a growing company it proves that being involved in the local community is helping them attract and retain a talented workforce and I look forward to working with them well into the future.

Cindy Withey
Connect Dacorum

Hawkstone Management Services Ltd is a small company for which IT Outsourcing is realistically the only viable option. Lumina Technologies have successfully performed this role for over fifteen years. They also provide innovative solutions to keep pace with technological progress. I would have no hesitation in recommending Lumina to similar sized businesses.

Stephen Pembury
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd

Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP have been using Lumina Technologies for a number of years now and continue to be impressed by the technical know-how and contemporary knowledge of their senior management, who provide a timely, efficient and friendly service. Whether it is a small issue with one computer, or a strategic IT decision, they maintain a current knowledge of available technologies. Lumina are always at the other end of the phone to help resolve issues and minimise business interference. The technical knowledge of Richard and his senior team means that there has not been a problem that they can’t solve to date. I am sure we will continue to use them in the years to come.

Charles Douglas
Managing Partner, Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP

The team at Lumina Technologies have made the Amoun Travel & Tours office IT transition seamless and problem free. The office set-up has been vastly improved and the IT Support services are flawless. No issue goes unresolved, which is extremely reassuring.

Adam Helmy
Amoun Travel & Tours Ltd

Lumina Technologies has been Salamander Energy plc’s IT provider since start-up in 2005 and has supported us in London during our expansion across operational offices in SE Asia. Their professional approach, strategic advice and close co-operation have been essential in making this a success.

John Bell
Group Technical Director, Salamander Energy plc

Richard and his team at Lumina have provided Perrett Laver Limited with high quality strategic and practical IT Services for over ten years. During this period, Perrett Laver has grown from 10+ colleagues based in London to nearly 100 colleagues located in six offices across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Richard and the Lumina team have not just been responsive to our ‘everyday’ IT needs, but have proactively sought to work with us on developing an infrastructure suitable for the type of operation we are today, and are planning to be months and years down the line. I would not hesitate to recommend Richard, especially for small to medium size business with growth in mind.

Clementine McKinley
COO, Perrett Laver Limited

Society Limited has been supported by Lumina Technologies since our earliest start-up phase. From large logistical challenges like an office move, through to smaller fiddly issues like fixing a faulty e-template, we know we can count on their support and advice. They’ve also been able to engage with us strategically on the challenge of scaling-up our infrastructure as the firm continues to grow and evolve. We always feel confident going to Lumina with a problem, since we know they genuinely care about sorting things out and helping us to get on with our core business.

Simon Lucas
Managing Director, Society Limited

The Vita Group HQ staff have worked with Richard McBarnet and Lumina Technologies for over 9 years, with Lumina providing all our PC, server, phone, and software support. The services have included C-level executives based in London, Manchester, the US, as well as supporting home office IT as well. The service provided and intellectual capabilities are outstanding and we would highly recommend Richard and his Lumina team.

Joe Menendez
CEO, The Vita Group

We worked with Lumina on a GDPR Audit. Richard was knowledgeable and professional throughout, and did the best he could to bring a dry topic to life through lots of real life examples and analogies. We were so impressed with the service Lumina provided and the value we got from partnering with them on this project – we couldn’t recommend them enough.

Holly Cottingham, Vintec Laboratories

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