Disaster Recovery Plans

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When was the last time your disaster recovery (DR) plan was revised? A viable DR plan may be what saves your business. Having a DR plan is a bit like an insurance policy. You don’t want to use it but are glad to have one when you need it. If you have a current DR plan, you realize the value of being able to recover from a catastrophic event. Well run companies not only have a DR plan but have assigned a monetized value for it. Establishing the value of a DR plan also indicates a level of commitment.

The extreme weather that has created earthquakes this summer in the Northeast is one disaster example. If your business is not impacted directly, chances are your suppliers or vendors are in some way. How prepared are you?

A basic DR plan includes :

  1. contact list - where is it, how to access it and contains information on internal staff and key customers.
  2. documentation - reactive scenarios to use based on the type of outage (network, infrastructure, data center, customer support, manufacturing).
  3. training-  the staff  in IT, Sales, Customer Support, and Purchasing is trained on their roles and what to do when a disaster occurs.
  4. commitment - last but the most important aspect. The management team and the worker bees are committed to knowing and being able to execute a DR plan.

Let’s assume you have a plan. When did you last update it? Is the plan reviewed periodically? Is having the plan revised connected to anyone’s performance goal? The amount of planning captured in the plan is directly proportional to the value management assigns to the DR plan.

Having a DR plan is fundamental to every business. What it contains and how extensive it is indicates your level of commitment. Kind of like the value of your insurance policy.