Developing a Disaster Recovery Plan

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What if disaster strikes, and your business goes down?  Your employees can’t access files or conduct their normal duties, your business can’t process sales and the company is at a standstill. Whether due to a natural disaster, or a man-made one such as a cyber attack, your organization needs to have a Disaster Recovery plan in place.

According to Nationwide Insurance Company, 68% of businesses do not have a documented Disaster Recovery plan.  When 49% of business admit it would take three months to recover from a natural disaster, this is far too long and businesses need to be better prepared. 

Whether a natural disaster, a security breach or even just a simple hardware crash – a Disaster Recovery plan can ensure your organization quickly and reliably can get back to normal operations fast.

So what makes a good disaster recovery plan? View the parts of a good documented plan below:

Data Replication
It’s incredibly important for businesses to recognize that their data needs to be backed up to a separate offsite location or to the cloud.

Define Your Priorities
Define which applications, programs, and processes are the most essential, and prioritize them to know what needs to be up-and-running before others.  In an ideal situation, having everything back up all at once would be the best case scenario, but that is just not feasible (or cost-effective) in all situations. Having a documented priority of what elements of your business are most important and need to be back running in the shortest amount of time can help avoid a serious situation, rather than waiting for everything all at once.

Assignment of Roles
When disaster strikes, panic can set in and decisions can be made in a rush that may not be the best for the organization.  By including Role Assignments in your Disaster Recovery plan, you’re assigning responsibilities to employees so they know exactly what they have to do to ensure your business is back up and running fast. In this section of your plan, Specific employee names are outline with their responsibilities, as well as important contacts for vendors that may need to be involved.

Asset Inventory
Make sure in your Recovery Plan that you construct a list of every piece of hardware and software, along with customer service and support information for each item. It is also important in this step to ensure the hardware you account for is safe from natural disasters such as a flood.

Remote Working Strategy
Should disaster strike, a plan must be implemented to identify how employees will be notified, and how they can continue their business duties while off-site if possible.  For instance, in the event of a natural disaster your business can identify things like an offsite workspace, digital workspaces so employee can work from home, how employees will access company software, phones, and other communication techniques and more.  Setting up an offsite or virtual workspace is imperative to keep a business functioning in the event of a disaster.

One in four businesses do not resume operations after a disaster. By working with your company’s IT team, and being proactive about creating a disaster recovery plan, you’re already on the way to making sure your business can survive the effects of a disaster.

Story via BizTech Magazine