For business owners, a disaster recovery plan is as essential as insurance is to a car. It is a crucial part of the IT strategy that will allow the company to recover after a catastrophe. From natural disasters to malicious cyberattacks, anything that causes a major workflow disturbance can threaten the operation of the business.
Disruptions can cascade into many areas of the organization and affect the availability of data – whether deleted, corrupted, or entirely wiped off from the system. This could lead to nondelivery of services, dissatisfied customers, damaged brand reputation, and eventually to revenue loss.
Here are the specific, key reasons for you to have a disaster recovery plan:
Disaster Recovery Plan in a Nutshell
A disaster recovery plan (DRP) serves as the official document drafted by an organization containing specific instructions on how it will respond to any unplanned situation. A DRP considers both natural and human-made scenarios such as floods, fire, cyber threats, and other major catastrophic events.
The plan details all the strategies designed to mitigate the damages of a disaster and ensure that business can resume its key operations as fast as possible. The DR plan is part of the overall business continuity plan (BCP) and is specific to that part of the plan where the company must start to revive operations.
After ensuring the safety of the staff and other assets, disaster recovery is the next top priority in the event of a disaster. A timely and well-designed recovery plan can spell the life or death of a business.
Operations, IT, and security leaders must collaborate to create the best DRP possible. Once leadership unanimously declares a disaster, then DRP kicks into action.
Elements of a Disaster Recovery Plan
- Internal communication. Communication is essential when addressing disasters. Make sure the disaster recovery plan has an up-to-date list of all employees personal contact information.
- Role assignments. Every person on the team should be assigned roles to focus on in times of crisis, such as workstation setup, phone redirection, damage assessment, guiding employees to an evacuation area, and more.
- Equipment. Protecting every equipment of the organization is also crucial. The DR plan details what to do with the company’s devices like setting up redundant networks, sealing with plastic or keeping them off the floor in case of a storm.
- Backup check and testing. Running data on backup servers in advance as far back as possible and ensuring that their location will remain unaffected is an essential element of the DR plan.
- Data continuity system. There needs to be a comprehensive grasp of how the business can get running in the shortest possible time. It means that the organization should determine the logistics and needs (i.e. supplies, finance, operations) to provide business continuity.
- Complete inventory. Conducting an inventory of all software, hardware, and applications is a part of the plan, prioritizing them in order of which gets restored first. The assigned person should take photos of the office and equipment before and after an incident as evidence that measures were taken diligently.
- Vendor communication. Collaborating with vendors such as the local power provider is essential to keep systems up, and services are restored as quickly as possible.
Why Do You Need a Disaster Recovery Plan?
In these times, IT failure is not an option for any business as many aspects have become more reliant on technology. Here are the top reasons to have a disaster recovery plan:
Downtime can be costly.
Downtime happens when operations are halted due to an unplanned event that could spell catastrophe the longer the business stalls. It can result in lost revenue, although its effect extends beyond monetary costs. Downtime can also damage the brand’s reputation, and the loyalty of existing and potential customers.
Sometimes, downtime can even lead to the unfortunate loss of life, particularly in the healthcare sector. Many companies suffer losses and damages the longer their system is offline. Once a DRP is set in motion, downtimes can be mitigated and help companies be available again for customers.
It safeguards customer confidence.
Customers have become more demanding when it comes to efficient service. When they find the service lacking, they will not hesitate to find another company that will fulfill their needs. A disaster recovery plan can help a business get back on its feet after a disaster and return to serving customers. When customers are satisfied, they can help promote the business through recommendations, which will improve brand reputation. In a customer-centric economy, addressing the client’s needs is always a top priority.
It increases employee productivity.
A hiccup in the workflow can potentially affect all aspects of the business—orders can be lost, invoices sent late, labor costs skyrocket, delivery dates are missed, and so on. This cause-and-effect scenario can cause frustration among the staff, which consequently affects their energy and will to work efficiently.
With a DR plan, the workforce can be confident that systems are going to be back online as quickly as possible so that they can continue with their job. It also prevents burnout that commonly happens when too many stressors, such as downtime, affect the way they work.
Start on Your Disaster Recovery Plan Today
Having a disaster recovery plan is not a luxury but responsibility for any organization. Keeping the business running in the face of a catastrophe is a huge challenge but being prepared can cushion the effect of any damage.
NST has the experience and expertise to create a superior disaster recovery plan for your business that follows ITIL specifications. Contact us today to start on your disaster recovery plan.