Companies have to face economic headwinds and develop innovative strategies for long-term success. These considerations usually take precedence over disaster recovery planning. The truth is that not planning for a worst-case scenario could put all business operations at risk.
SMBs lag behind large enterprises in developing disaster recovery plans, but while 95% of major tech firms have a plan in place, 23% never test them. Even with plans, 77% of these companies still experienced an outage. Keeping in mind that many companies can never recover from a catastrophic data loss event, ensuring there’s an effective plan in place is vital for business sustainability.
Establishing an Effective Disaster Recovery Plan in 5 Steps
For SMBs, it is essential to invest in an effective disaster recovery plan for business continuity. The plan should focus on ensuring operational integrity for any type of data loss scenario. Here are five steps to develop a disaster recovery plan for the company.
1. Identify the Threats the Company Faces
Identifying the different scenarios that could lead to complete failure of the company’s infrastructure will help establish the parameters of the plan. While this provides the extreme cases, the company should also consider smaller events that could jeopardize operations.
Some scenarios to include in the disaster recovery plan are:
· Natural disasters like fires, floods, or earthquakes.
· Building problems like electrical fires or flooding from burst pipes.
· Digital infrastructure issues like cyberattacks, hardware failures, or network outages.
· Loss of services and supplies like utilities and telecoms.
· Resource losses due to illness or extended leave.
Once the company knows what scenarios they should plan for, they can carry out an impact assessment for every event. They should identify what the scenario will do to operations and what systems, people, and processes will be lost due to the event.
2. Map Out the Impacted Systems and Establish Backup Plans
Identify the systems and specific datasets that will require backups to recover from any particular event. There are varying backup strategies to use depending on the size of the files, the disruption a substitute may cause, and at what intervals. If a specific system only records one or two transactions a week, daily backups will not be required. Similarly, if large teams are working concurrently in an application, it may require regular backups during the day, or maybe even synchronization to the cloud.
3. Document the Disaster Recovery Plan in Detail
After identifying critical infrastructure and establishing the backup strategies for the systems, document the actual steps required to recover. This will require input from SMEs and different Business Units. It should include the steps to re-establish the infrastructure as well as which personnel or functions are essential to recovering quickly. Plan the sequence of steps required for every system in detail and determine whether to contact the necessary stakeholders, which may include customers.
If the plan requires the company to replace physical infrastructure, they should plan the process in detail. That includes how they’ll procure the equipment, the location it’ll be required at, and who’ll be responsible for setting up the new system. The company should also provide timelines for when they expect to be operational again.
4. Assign Responsibilities and Inform Staff
With the plan in place, inform staff about their responsibilities and duties. In any disaster, the primary concern should be for the safety of staff, so it’s also an excellent time to remind them of evacuation procedures and other safety drills. The recovery plan should also tell staff how to communicate after the disaster. Ensure every staff member has a copy of the plan and understand all of its contents.
5. Test the Plan for Efficacy and Make Improvements
This is the most crucial step in the process. If the plan only works theoretically, it won’t do any good when put to the test. Schedule tests for all the different types of scenarios and drill staff in their responsibilities. The more the company tests and updates the plan, the better they will be able to respond to a crisis.
This process also allows the company to identify where they will need additional redundancies. It could include having multiple backups in different locations or having other telecoms or utility supply lines installed.
Improve Your Disaster Recovery Planning Capabilities with Blue Technologies
Blue Technologies can help SMBs with effective disaster recovery planning using managed IT services. Our experts will work with the company to understand their digital environment and map out the dependencies required to recover quickly and efficiently.
We have flexible and versatile solutions that can help organizations to streamline their operational processes and develop a resilient business continuity strategy. Blue Technologies has a team of skilled professionals that can assist SMBs to prepare for the worst and weather any disastrous scenario while also mitigating cybersecurity risks proactively.
For companies that need a resilient disaster recovery plan and an expert technology partner, they can trust, contact Blue Technologies today.