In today’s technology-savvy, information-dependent world, staying online and connected to the world is a necessity. Among all the sectors of society, it could be argued that for companies and government agencies, losing this precious connection is more than just costly. It comes as no surprise then that a sturdy network infrastructure disaster recovery plan plays a critical role in keeping operations running without disruption.
From city-wide service interruptions brought about by infrastructure overload to natural calamities, this plan will provide the contingencies that can help everyone effectively reclaim a sense of normalcy. The plan contains the necessary solutions for both the recovery and protection of the business IT infrastructure. It details steps that organizations need to take in situations that may potentially disrupt or halt operations. This plan also aims to aid various firms in recovering valuable data, assets, and facilities during emergency situations. Without a well-thought-out plan of this sort, substantial amounts of money could be lost, and jobs and lives could be in danger, just to name a few ramifications.
Companies that intend to write their own disaster recovery plans should consider a few important points.
Define What A Disaster Is For Your Organization
A disaster refers to an event, natural or human-made, that interrupts operational or computer processing functions. It affects the usual business processes, and without a predetermined solution, the company is unable to operate.
By acknowledging possible emergency scenarios and building a plan around them, businesses will have a more effective decision-making process when the crisis takes place. These organizations typically carry out a risk and business impact analysis before formulating the plan. This will give them crucial information that can help them act accordingly, such as the recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) plans. The former refers to a target time to restore a business process before grave consequences are met while the latter refers to a period wherein data may not be retrieved following the major event.
Determine the Scope of Disaster Recovery Planning
It’s important to take note that there isn’t a blanket strategy to respond to each and every disaster. So, the plan must cover many possibilities, though not necessarily all contingencies. As businesses continue to grow, so will their budget for disaster recovery. This means the plan needs to be updated periodically. Key relevant additions that fortify the plan must be added to better accommodate the growing network infrastructure. Startups and existing organizations can even turn to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for relevant resources, guidance, and direction.
For starters, the recovery plan must detail the critical IT networks. While keeping the RTO in mind, businesses must create the step-by-step procedure for restarting, reconfiguring, and recovering those systems and networks. It must seek to minimize potential damage to business operations. More importantly, all employees must thoroughly understand, know and — when feasible — practice these emergency procedures.
Testing the Recovery Plan
As with any disaster plan, businesses must test the plans they’ve crafted before implementing them. This measure helps them identify vulnerabilities and apply necessary adjustments to make the plan and recovery team more effective.
However, the testing process depends on the organization’s plans and resources. While it may take a lot of time, effort, and organization, it is still necessary. The test may also come with a few risks, especially when live data is involved. However, this isn’t true for all cases.
Simulating a disaster can come in different forms. A tabletop test, for instance, places participants in scenarios where they must carry out recovery procedures step by step. This way, organizations can ensure that their recovery teams are aware of their obligations in times of emergencies.
Creating a disaster recovery plan is a lot of work as it’s supposed to cover all possible business disruptors. Creating a workable contingency plan is not as simple as drafting an elaborate outline of possible emergency situations and the procedures. Businesses must initially conduct risk and business impact analyses to determine how a disruptive event will affect operations. And once the plan has been written and approved, they must comprehensively test it. With a solid disaster recovery plan, businesses can quickly bounce back when an unforeseen, debilitating event occurs.
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