Building a Business Distaster Recovery Plan
Blogger Sarah Johnston
Right now is the most critical time of the year to worry about your company’s disaster recovery plan. The Atlantic hurricane season has started and in the Midwest it’s tornado season. However, it doesn’t matter where you live; your company needs a disaster recovery plan. With the heat of summer and the problems with the electric power grids you never know when a disaster will hit. Therefore, it’s necessary to have a disaster recovery plan in place when a disaster strikes.
What would happen to your business your information technology stops working? - Disaster in many cases!
Here is a very quick outline of ways to prepare for disasters affecting your business operations and recover as soon as possible.
How to Draft a Disaster Recovery Plan in 25 Steps:
- Identify the key operational employees of your firm.
- Secure a secondary or remote location for your key employees to work until the disaster is over.
- Ensure your key employees can communicate with each other.
- The remote location needs access to your company’s servers, business-critical data, and emergency phone services.
- Examine the remote location carefully to determine if your key employees can keep your business operational at this location.
- Use a flowchart to identify each department, what employees are critical to your continuous operation, and the role each employee plays.
- Develop a disaster recovery plan for each employee that is critical to your business operations.
- Design individual disaster recovery plans for each department.
- Hold disaster recovery training.
- Teach each employee what to do in case of a disaster.
- Give each person a step-by-step guideline for their responsibility during a disaster.
- Ensure each employee knows their role and that they have practiced their role.
- Design your company’s continuous backup plan.
- Have a redundancy backup plan in place.
- Always have your data backed up in your remote or secondary location.
- Verify all your business-critical data is backed up to an off-site location.
- Locate a secondary location that isn’t in the same area of your business to store your data and create an emergency work environment for your employees.
- Backup and store your business data on the cloud. This gives your employees easy access to the critical data they need to keep your business operating.
- Determine your company’s Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs), the time a server or other critical piece of equipment can be off-line or without power before causing damage.
- Understand your Recovery Point Objective (RPOs), the amount of data your company can afford to lose since your last backup.
- After drafting your disaster recovery plan, test the plan. Determine if the plan will work.
- Test your disaster recovery plan quarterly. Make changes when necessary, and modify procedure when needed.
- Have your IT department test their server recovery plan. Use a secondary server to see how long it will take to recover the data.
- Test your telephone services at your remote location. Ensure that your employees will have access to the phones during a disaster.
- Always evaluate your disaster recovery plan, make changes and modify the document when something changes within your organization.
Next: Start designing and building infrastructure around a Business recovery program.