A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is an important document that details the steps of how an organization would get back on its feet after a man-made or natural catastrophe. It is an integral element of a business continuity plan.
Elements that Comprise a Disaster Recovery Plan
The success of an organization’s recovery from disaster depends on how it utilizes its DRP. Here are the key elements that make an effective plan.
Key Business Operations
The first ingredient of any disaster recovery plan is identifying the core aspects of your organization’s operations, the ones without which your business would languish, and lose customers and market share. The key operations vary, depending on the nature of your business and the products or services you are offering.
Recovery Time and Recovery Point
This is linked to the above. Recovery time objective (RTO) means how much time you would ideally and realistically need to get back in business while RPO is the important data that must be recovered to resume normal working. You can develop them by analyzing the dynamics of your particular business.
The Risks to Your Business
Another key element of any DRP is to evaluate and estimate potential threats and hazards to your business, whether man-made such as cyberattacks and malware, or natural such as storms and earthquakes. While you cannot accurately predict the occurrence of a natural disaster or forecast its magnitude, you can make intelligent assessments, for instance, based on weather patterns in your geographical area and other similar factors. The same is true for cyberattacks. You can see the history of such attacks on your business or other businesses similar to yours and make a contingency plan.
Assign Proper Roles
An effective disaster recovery plan will clearly define and articulate proper roles and responsibilities to employees. Some key roles and responsibilities of a recovery plan is communication with employees, working with vendors or suppliers, with the building administration, and even the media if needed. There is no room for ambiguity and assumptions. Everything should be in black and white in no uncertain terms and practiced.
Organizations sometimes miss and underestimate the importance of a good communication plan as a component of disaster recovery. During a disaster, regular communication lines could be disrupted. What would be the alternative communication channel for alerting and instructing employees? How does the organization effectively implement them? These factors need to be highlighted.
A disaster recovery plan is going to need capital, expertise, specific equipment, and precious time. You need to earmark human, material and financial resources adequately to come up with an effective plan. These include employing disaster recovery experts to draw up the plan based on your business, or assigning employees and vendors who will take charge of checking if work premises are safe enough to return to work, if employees need support, reviewing the state of the IT infrastructure and other work equipment, among others.
Think More than Just Data
In an actual emergency, more is at stake than just data. Think about your building, your employees, operating systems, important files, hardware such as servers and data centers, desktops, laptops, mobile devices, etc. These are all critical to the workings of an organization. So, you have to make sure your disaster recovery plan covers all aspects of the business.
Test and Update
The last key ingredient of a successful disaster recovery plan is to regularly revisit and maintain it. Do not wait for an actual disaster to strike you to check its effectiveness. Hold mock disaster exercises and see how your disaster recovery plan stand up to the test. If there are any shortcomings, improve them by coming up new solutions.
Driven to Deliver
Nobody can doubt the importance of a disaster recovery plan for a business. It is an essential document that every business should possess. To draw up your business continuity and disaster recovery plans, consult a service provider with proven expertise. Choose one with a track record for reliability and accountability for safeguarding your employees, assets, sensitive data, and core operations.
At NST, our team of IT experts are well-versed in their respective work and will make sure that you get back in business in no time with minimal loss to the operations of your business. To learn more about disaster management and recovery operations, contact us today.