Growing up, my grandmother had this funny saying when work was being done around the house: “Better be careful, or Murphy might show up.” She was of course talking about Murphy’s Law — if something can go wrong, it will. Back then I thought it sounded quite odd and never gave it much thought, but now that I’m much older and wiser, I can understand the meaning of what she was talking about.

Working in IT and considering the importance of data to a company, I can appreciate the prospect of keeping old Murphy away from my datacenter. Sadly though, despite best intentions and planning, something will go wrong eventually. There are four key things that business owners need to consider from an IT perspective when faced with disaster, to keep the business running. Having low-cost, reliable and easy-to-configure backups goes a long way when Murphy comes knocking.

1. Prepare for the worst

When faced with a disaster, stay calm and execute your disaster recovery (DR) plan. Take stock of existing backups. Make sure your people are safe, get your core functions back in order and produce working company data from said backups. Finally, once the basics are up and running, fashion a plan to get back to normal operation.

2. Protect your intellectual property

Think of all the things that make up your business. Most owners will think of people, inventory and data. Data is your intellectual property. It's quite likely that without it, you either can't make your product or have no product, which ultimately leads to loss of revenue.

3. Find the right solution

Business owners must be sure that they choose an application that aligns with their IT protection needs. The chosen solution must be industry proven, provide easy to use, single-pane-of-glass management tools, and provide unrivaled support when you need it.

4. Stay on the path to success

When you're attempting to build a successful business, Murphy's Law applies to the extreme. Again, if something can go wrong, it will. Businesses that experience a data-loss event will experience some sort of business impact. Running backup software to protect business data will keep you on the path to success.

Again, a solid data backup strategy is part and parcel to any company’s DR efforts. While ultimately it is technology and IT that facilitates the data protection of the business, owners need to be aware of their company’s backups as well, at least peripherally. In the event that something happens, you’ll need to lead your team through it, and you don’t want to be in the dark about your recovery options when the time comes. It’s impossible to keep Murphy away, but you can be prepared when he shows up.