Anything can happen. That’s the simplest way to explain why disaster recovery exists. From natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes to man-made technology disasters like computer viruses, disaster recovery works as insurance for information technology.
As its name suggests, disaster recovery helps organizations when a disaster strikes. For law firms, disaster recovery is particularly important due to the detailed and complex work that lawyers undertake. Imagine working on a case for months only to have all electronic files associated with it disappear instantly. That’s a nightmarish scenario but one that happens frequently. Let’s look at the basics of disaster recovery and how it helps in such heart-racing situations.
How the Cloud Helps Law Firms
Today, law firms of all sizes leverage cloud computing, but in the old days, firms typically kept their technology infrastructure (such as servers and network resources) at their office or on nearby company property. If something happened to this infrastructure (for example, if a flash flood soaked the office), all of the technology the firm used could be lost. Cloud hosting enables businesses to basically rent space for their IT infrastructure. Cloud computing is cheaper and easier to manage, so it has grown in popularity.
The only issue is that cloud-hosting providers must exist somewhere. While the term cloud computing conjures images of computing that exists entirely in the sky, the technology comes from servers in data centers somewhere in the world, and they’re just as subject to natural and man-made disasters.
How Disaster Recovery Works for Law Firms
To prepare for potential disasters, law firms should use disaster recovery services. Instead of having all of the firm’s technology infrastructure in one physical place (say, a data center in St. Louis), it contracts with a disaster recovery service elsewhere (like the Caribbean). If there’s a flood in St. Louis, it’s unlikely that the storm that produced that flood will impact the Caribbean. So if the technology in St. Louis is damaged, the firm can turn to its provider in the Caribbean to continue running.
Disaster recovery companies back up data regularly. Depending on the service plan, this could occur every day, every hour or every minute. Like fire insurance for a home, disaster recovery is one of those things that law firms hope they'll never need, but they’re happy to have it when they do.