In our last post, we covered the differences between a backup plan and a disaster recovery plan, and why it’s critical for your business to have both in place. Now that you know the basics, let’s talk about what exactly goes into creating a disaster recovery plan. Having a disaster recovery plan is essential for maintaining business continuity if, or more likely WHEN, your business falls victim to a disaster. As we mentioned, having a backup plan and maintaining multiple backup copies and accessibility options is the only way you can ensure that you’ll be able to restore all of that business information and customer data in the event of a disaster. But without having a plan in place around how you’ll restore those backups, where you’ll restore them to, and who in your organization is responsible for each aspect of the recovery process, you could find yourself with your data locked up and no way to access it.
When creating a disaster recovery plan, you need to consider several factors for restoring your business back to being fully operational. These factors include:
- How long is your business able to be down while your backup is being restored?
- What kind of hardware will you need in order to restore your backups successfully, and what will the costs be to obtain and maintain this hardware?
- How can you ensure that you have all of the right security measures in place during the restoration process so that your data doesn’t fall victim to a breach while you’re in the process of restoring it?
- Who in your organization will be responsible for the actual restoration process? What will be the responsibilities of each department or employee during this time to ensure the most minimal impact to your business’s ability to function?
As you consider these factors, the final plan that you put together should be housed in something called a runbook. A runbook is a guide that walks you through each step of the disaster recovery process, including what happens the moment a disaster occurs; what each team member needs to do to fulfill their role in the recovery process; and what kind of contingency plan, or plans, are in place in case of any issues during the recovery process. Once this is all documented and the plan is created, you still need to make sure that everyone is ready and able to put this plan into action the moment your business falls victim to a disaster. This requires regular practice scenarios to make sure that everyone involved knows their responsibilities and is able to fulfill them as quickly as needed. These practice sessions should be done multiple times per year, and the more vulnerable your business is to disaster, the more frequently you should be practicing your disaster recovery plan. Additionally, you should be testing your plan and your hardware regularly to look for any holes in the process or weak points that may have cropped up or been previously overlooked. It’s better to identify these earlier and proactively fix them, rather than discover these issues when you’re in the middle of an actual disaster scenario.
As you can see, disaster preparedness isn’t a simple process, but it is something that your business needs to do in order to maintain continuity and avoid falling victim to consequences including loss of revenue; damage to reputation; fines and penalties on the local, state, and federal level; and even complete business closure. Taking the time now to make sure you’re aware and prepared for whatever might come your way is how you can set yourself apart from the competition and ensure that your business systems and data remain standing after that tornado even if the building isn’t! To make sure you have the best team in place to make sure you’re ready for any disaster, contact TAG Solutions today and learn about the perfect disaster recovery plan for your business.