In the event of a’ disaster’, disaster recovery is both the preparation and execution of countermeasures. The disaster itself may be a physical event (such as an office fire or a flood that prevents you from entering your building) or it may be a major technical problem (such as your phone system going down, or your servers becoming compromised by malware).
For each individual organisation, what constitutes a “disaster” would also be different. Therefore, there is no single plan which can be used for every disaster or every business. Each company must establish, test and, if necessary, implement their own bespoke disaster recovery plans.
Here are some features that are common to many disaster recovery plans:
• Cloud Data Backup
Backing up vital company data to secure cloud services such as Amazon’s AWS or Google Cloud in real time enables the same data to be easily recovered after a disaster.
• Recovery Sites
Very large businesses could well have leased backup office spaces that would allow a reduced selection of employees to continue working while their primary premises were made safe to return to.
• Home Working Provisions
If the office of a company cannot be attended in person, a company can carry out a temporary home working policy. To continue business communications and keep an acceptable level of customer service, temporary services can be used. For example, solutions such as VoIP telecoms can help replace your phone systems. TTo enable workers to safely access sensitive data from home, a corporate VPN can well be needed.
• Specified Tasks And Responsibilities For Key Employees
Much like you would have specific tasks and responsibilities for certain employees during a fire drill, a successful disaster recovery plan would have specified roles for other staff members. These may involve duties such as implementing up data backup restore points or being responsible for sending out corporate VPN logins to home workers.
Disaster Recovery From A Third Party
Some organisations prefer to outsource the preparation and execution of their disaster recovery to a third-party managed IT company with comprehensive disaster recovery planning experience and real world experience of implementing those plans during an actual disaster.
The Benefits Of A Disaster Recovery Plan
1. Reduce Your Stress
The slogan “expect the best, prepare for the worst” is never more accurate than when struggling with recovery from disasters. Knowing that you have contingencies in place for a number of circumstances will reduce the background stress when running your company day to day.
A lack of successful recovery plans will affect companies by making them too cautious and stagnant compared to their better-prepared competitors who have the confidence to take more risks.
2. Planning Properly Lets You Recover Faster
Businesses with disaster recovery plans are likely to return to work much earlier than those without disaster recovery plans. In addition, certain organisations without a disaster recovery strategy are sometimes never able to return to work. For instance, if a company relies on data in order to do business and a malware attack permanently locks them out of their data, what business can they do?
3. Disaster Recovery Helps You Discover New And Better Processes
The process of planning for disaster recovery is a great way to learn the intricacies your business, its IT processes, its strengths, and its weaknesses. Many organisations have never really analysed their organisation as a whole until they make a recovery plan. Since efficient disaster planning means reviewing every part of the organisation in depth, from the individual workers to the structure of the IT network itself, many companies use this as a great opportunity to do a complete audit of their existing processes.
This may be a perfect time to incorporate new technology, such as cloud computing. In addition to helping to protect the enterprise, disaster recovery technologies such as cloud storage and real-time backups also help to enable new ways of working that can be faster, more efficient, or cheaper than current processes. Business processes based on the cloud are also far more scalable than their existing physical counterparts, enabling organisations to grow with greater ease.
4. Disaster Recovery Can Help To Increase Your Overall Efficiency
Disaster recovery also requires keeping redundancies operating, whether it be additional staff members or additional computing power for computers. These backup systems and staff may be used to improve efficiency around the enterprise when you’re not in the midst of a “disaster.”
5. Disaster Recovery Gives You A Competitive Edge
Business is competitive environment and any downtime your business has can be easily taken advantage of by your rivals. Any day you don’t work is a day you can’t attract new customers and if you can’t provide them with ongoing customer support, gradually current customers will also start falling off too.
There are very few organisations that can withstand prolonged downtime and the only way to avoid downtime is to have a well thought through, well-rehearsed and easily deployable disaster recovery plan. Very few companies have the technological competence or time to prepare their disaster recovery properly. Therefore, it is advised that you consult a third-party IT provider with an established track record of not only preparation but also disaster recovery implementation. You should ask for concrete examples of when each of the recovery scenarios they recommend has been implemented.