Disaster Recovery Plans Ensure Business Continuity

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock PhotosModern companies breathe and live on files and data that are stored on servers while all work is done via the company network. If the company network went down, what would happen if no disaster recovery plan was in place?

No plan = No business

The business world abounds with stories of how disasters can lead to business collapse. These catastrophes often happen because of the lack of foolproof disaster recovery plans. When the disaster happens, the damage is too grave to overcome, and the companies affected may never be able to recover.

How unlikely is it that a disaster will happen? Power outages are often announced, but natural disasters, software and hardware failures, computer viruses, or human errors can happen any time and cause a business irrecoverable damage.

For some business owners, planning for something that may never happen is difficult to prioritize, but planning and not needing the plan is better than being unprepared if the unexpected were to happen.

The following points can help businesses craft a customized disaster recovery strategy that meets their requirements.

Make disaster recovery a day-to-day priority.

A proactive mindset means that individuals should think that disaster can happen any time and when least expected. Chief executives and senior officers must treat disaster recovery as a top priority in their boardroom agendas to prepare their companies to respond effectively to any eventuality—if it were to happen now or five years from now.

Craft a disaster recovery plan; train and communicate with all concerned.

Disaster recovery planning can be a daunting task with countless scenarios to analyze and various options to consider. The disaster recovery objective and mechanics must be made clear to all participants.

While the IT department is expected to be the lead group, all the other units in the organization are stakeholders as well. The IT head and unit managers need to come together to outline a chain of command and identify key personnel to take charge in emergency situations.

All participants must understand their assigned roles through continuing trainings and clear lines of communication.

Do regular and realistic testing.

The effectiveness of a disaster recovery program resides in its ability to respond positively to emergency situations. Rigorous testing done on a regular basis and under realistic conditions or simulated circumstances of actual emergencies is crucial to determine whether the plan is able to stand up to the most disruptive disasters.

Invest in fail-proof backup and redundancy systems.

The primary functions of a backup system are security and accessibility of data following a crisis. Off-site or third-party backup systems provide fail-proof protection for data— especially if disaster happens on-site like in cases of fires, floods, earthquakes, and internal theft. Similarly, establishing redundant servers for critical data in secure off-site locations provides an alternative access to data for faster recovery.

Establish a theft recovery plan.

Theft is a real threat that can wreak havoc on a company network–especially in today’s bring your own device (BYOD) environment. Laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices that employees use at work can get stolen, lost, or misplaced. Thanks to theft recovery solutions, lost computers can now be located and recovered. Data delete options also enable companies to remotely delete sensitive data on stolen computing devices.

Planning for the unknown minimizes unwanted surprises. The lack of a disaster recovery plan is a recipe for possible business failure. For companies that come prepared with a disaster recovery system that not only works in theory but also works in practice, they can continue to do what they are doing – business as usual – even after a disaster.