Access to locations, people, and equipment are key elements of disaster recovery plans.
Disaster recovery planning is about preparing for worst-case scenarios. Having robust, actionable plans at the ready means your enterprise is ready to respond when a disaster presents itself.
As seen in the recent post, 7 Core Elements of Enterprise Resilience, it is important that disaster recovery planning be a key component of an integrated business continuity plan. What should you include in your disaster recovery management strategy? As in many business continuity efforts, it comes down to people, processes, and planning.
- Identify Risks
A comprehensive risk assessment plan ahead of an incident helps the enterprise to be prepared when a disaster hits. Each potential risk needs to be identified, ranked, and remediated. Having risks identified, and understanding what steps have been taken to avoid the risk, helps inform the recovery plan. In the moment, an understanding of the risk and what has been done already helps inform decision-making during and after the disaster.
- Focus on People, Part 1
Any disaster recovery plan needs to include what the company is going to do to take care of its employees. This step is often overlooked, which is short-sighted. Knowing how you will communicate with and support employees, many of whom may also be dealing with the impacts of the disaster, is important to having the right assets in place to do critical work. It is also a powerful message to send to employees that their well-being is important.
- Focus on People, Part 2
Your disaster recovery plan needs to spell out who will do what and when. These roles may be different than the normal work duties, and therefore need to be drilled, tested, and simulated ahead of time. When the time comes, you want your employees to be familiar with the work that needs to be done, aware of what their role and others’ roles are, and have the preparation and tools to do their jobs. These roles need to focus on critical systems, sales and cash flow, customers, ongoing operations, communications, and physical locations. Decision-making and chains of command also need to be clearly defined.
A sound disaster recovery plan allows businesses to limit downtime and keep operations in play.
- Recover Data
One of the most important elements of disaster recovery is to understand what data needs to be recovered and how. Data backups need to be accessed and activated quickly to ensure business and operational continuity.
- Evaluate Locations and Equipment
In a disaster, buildings, access to locations, and availability and operability of equipment is critical. Your plan needs to have a backup plan for both locations and equipment. If the staff is asked to work remotely, will workers have access to systems and tools? Is there a current inventory of equipment to assess damage and backup smartphones, computers, and servers as necessary to keep the business operating?
- Communicate Internally and Externally
Disaster recovery plans need to factor in communication channels to employees as well as the outside world, especially affected customers. Having plans in place for who will develop these communications, who will approve them, and who will serve as spokespersons is essential to ensure that messaging is consistent and delivered at appropriate times.
At Continuity Logic, we understand the critical importance of having a comprehensive disaster recovery and business continuity plan. With Continuity Logic, you have access to a single-source platform to plan, act, and evaluate. Download the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant Report for BCMP Solutions to learn more about how Continuity Logic can help your enterprise develop and implement the proper plans to keep your business moving forward.