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Process automation enhances disaster recovery plans

Disasters – natural or otherwise – are hardly pleasant topics to think about. But if you’re a business owner, the time to start planning for a worst-case scenario is well before it happens.

Disasters – natural or otherwise – are hardly pleasant topics to think about. But if you’re a business owner, the time to start planning for a worst-case scenario is well before it happens.

Imagine, for instance, what would happen to your company in the event of an after-hours fire. How about a malfunctioning sprinkler system soaking your office and everything in it? Worse, a tornado?

Even assuming all your employees are safe – the highest priority, obviously – any of these instances could easily cause irreparable harm to your business. According to an Institute for Business and Home Safety study, 25 percent of companies fail to reopen after major disasters.

Fortunately, while disasters can’t be totally prevented, you can dramatically increase the odds of your business surviving one. With the right plans and processes in place, you can start to ensure the continuity of your business practices, as well as the survival of your mission-critical documents and data.

Here are three ways to prepare for whatever tomorrow may bring.

(1) DOCUMENT IMAGING AND DIGITAL BACKUPS

Critical information stored on paper represents one of the most common disaster planning vulnerabilities for businesses. If paper burns, it’s gone. If paper gets wet, it’s expensive, or sometimes impossible, to recover the document contents.

If a well-intentioned employee misfiles a paper, it’s a manual search party that may never find it. And when the paper is gone or damaged beyond repair, the information it contains is gone, too.

The answer is to remove as much paper as possible from company processes through the use of document imaging – essentially the enterprise term for scanning. Documents can be imaged as one large project as part of a “backfile conversion,” or digitized individually or in small batches within an automated workflow.

Either way, the result is the same – information once locked away in a single, unsecure form moves into the secure digital realm. Stored properly there, it’s essentially indestructible.

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