No matter how safe, secure, and well-equipped your office and laboratory is, unexpected events can still cause costly setbacks. Major storms, utility work, or problems at your facility can cause your operations to come to a halt.. And as you can imagine these kinds of events can cause damaging impact to meeting milestones and deadlines. Disasters come in many forms, but some of the most common and consequential ways that they affect startup biotech companies is in the area of information technology. From short brown outs in your buildings power, a small fire that causes damage or sets off sprinkler systems, water main breaks can leak water into your office and labs or extended power events and complete building disasters can cause real problems. Even problems with your IT equipment can cause these issues even if you have proper support on them. I have seen instances when the hardware vendor cannot get you a replacement part on time causing hours or even days of downtime. When power is lost or internet connections fail, the IT systems that your experiments and business communications rely on can become completely ineffective. Every biotech startup business needs to have a plan in place for when the unexpected happens. Being prepared for any possible contingency is the most reliable way to ensure that you are meeting all of the goals that you have established in your business plan. Developing a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) along with a Recovery Time Objective (RTO) plan with your expert IT service provider can help you keep your company running at near or full capacity, no matter what is going on around you.
The new way of backing up data
The growth of outsourced services, remote computing options and offsite storage (the cloud), give companies increasing options for backup and disaster recovery. In the old model, data was backed up to a tape, disk or drive and then manually removed to a remote location, if that even happened. That’s not usually the case anymore. Backup occurs automatically; new data is sent over the internet to a remote location. An additional backup can be stored onsite for a quicker recovery option in the event of data loss. In the event of a disaster at your office data can be restored to alternate locations quickly.
Business continuity in case of a disaster
To supplement this basic backup and disaster recovery plan, an IT provider can back up not only your data, but also the systems it runs on—effectively duplicating your entire IT infrastructure. This can be replicated on-site, off-site or both. This type of backup system is called business continuity. This allows your IT service provider to spin up a failed system or systems when it is decided that an extended outage is happening. This allows you to run your business on this platform onsite or offsite temporarily until the event causing the outage is restored or the damaged system can be repaired or replaced.
A backup and disaster recovery plan should be planned carefully, balancing cost
This greater storage and processing capacity comes at a cost, however. Like your IT investment itself, the BDR and RTO should be carefully planned to give you exactly what you need, and nothing you don’t. No matter how simple or sophisticated your BDR, remember to validate it regularly. The purpose of a BDR is to recover data quickly in the event of a disaster. You’ll want to make sure that the system you or your IT provider has set in place isn’t just reliable in theory, but is genuinely ready for an emergency.
An IT service provider that understands the unique concerns of the biotech industry can help you develop a backup and disaster plan that will protect you when the unexpected happens. To learn more about the IT concerns that every biotech startup company should be thinking about, read our white paper “After the Seed: Planning IT Investment for a Biotech Startup.”