What is disaster recovery plan?
We all are familiar with the ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’ adage. Where businesses are concerned, this takes on a rather important meaning. As the name suggests this indicates the drawing up of a plan to recover from disasters. Assessing risks and managing them is an integral part of any project or organizational management policies.
While it is true that most plans remain on paper and may not be implemented at all, it really is important to have them. Disaster strikes when you least expect it. Any unforeseen, unplanned event that can disrupt the functioning of your organization can be termed as a disaster. It is therefore essential to think about and arrive at such possible disasters and what one would do to address such circumstances. Business continuity is extremely important and this is what disaster recovery plans help in.
Why a disaster recovery plan?
It is a fast paced, always on the move, 24*7 kind of world that we live in. Everything happens online and all data and systems should be always accessible in order to ensure smooth transactions. The impact of a system downtime can be high and translate into huge amounts of lost revenue. It is even worse in case of a data loss or IT system breakdowns.
There are many factors that can disrupt businesses like power outages, natural disasters, hardware failure, user errors, software failures or malfunctions, cyber security issues like virus attacks, or hacking. Each of these needs to be understood and a disaster recovery plan should address all such identified situations together and separately. A well-documented disaster recovery plan is like an insurance you take out for those unforeseen circumstances.
Apart from the obvious benefits of ensuring that your business continues to operate with minimal downtime and impact, there are a few other benefits that dictate the need for a disaster recovery plan. They are:
- It provides a sense of security, knowing you are prepared to handle any unforeseen circumstances.
- You are at peace knowing that you have made provisions.
- It gives you an opportunity to test your backup systems.
- Delays due to downtime are reduced.
- Less or no delay will also mean no legal issues from customers as most businesses nowadays work with stringent service level agreements (SLA).
- It helps with faster decision-making in the event of a disaster as you have already laid out a plan.
Things to include
A good disaster recovery plan should be well documented to cover aspects like:
- The probable disasters
- Why or when they may occur
- The ratio of such occurrences
- What the response should be for each and every one of the possible disasters
- What backup systems should be in place
- How operations will be continued and finally restored with minimal impact
- Who is responsible for what and are any authorizations are needed?
While you can create highly comprehensive ones that plan things out to the last detail, having a disaster recovery plan, through companies such as CloudEndure, with at least the basic things mentioned above is very important.