3 Steps for a Good Disaster Recovery Plan

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It’s often after something goes wrong that the importance of good disaster recovery planning becomes crystal clear. You may have a backup plan (how to replicate your info offsite) but a disaster recovery plan can guarantee its recovery.

Disaster recovery planning is as important as the insurance you have on your business or vehicles. It means anticipating what might go wrong, creating a plan to reduce risk, and having an action plan to follow when disaster strikes.

Downtime costs small businesses as much as $427 per minute.

Every moment your company is offline and not able to conduct do business as usual, you’re losing money. Being down for just 2 hours could cost your business over $50,000 in lost revenue, productivity costs, and more.

With an actionable disaster recovery plan, you have a much better chance of mitigating large downtime expenses and getting your team back up and running as soon as possible.

Disaster Recovery in Three Comprehensive Steps

There are three key steps to ensuring your disaster recovery planning is successful and will continue to evolve with your organization as needs and objectives change. These are:

  • Creating a Plan
  • Communicating Your Plan
  • Revising Your Plan

Leaving any one of those three steps out can mean a plan that isn’t well put together, well executed, or up to date.

Creating a Plan

The foundation of any disaster recovery effort will be the master plan that you put into place. It should be detailed and include instructions how your team will carry out efforts in the case of different types of disasters.

Your disaster recovery plan should be written down and available in an offline format, such as notebooks that your key managers keep on hand both onsite and offsite, so they can be accessed in any type of event.

Some of the key things your disaster recovery plan should include are:

  • Types of disasters that can happen and how each would impact your business (phone, email, CRM applications, data recovery, etc.)
  • Steps to get your systems back online
  • Responsibilities by employee so everyone knows who is doing what
  • Communication protocols for connecting with your team, including alternative methods if certain channels of communication are down
  • Notification protocol for customers and, if needed, regulatory agencies (i.e., in case of a data breach)
  • A list with contact details for key support vendors to contact (like your IT provider)
  • A detailed asset inventory (in case your premises and its contents are damaged)
  • An alternative operations hub should your office be unusable

Communicating Your Plan

Even the best plan can be completely forgotten in the event of a disaster if you haven’t properly communicated it to both your employees and those service providers who will provide assistance during recovery.

Employee training is key as well as ongoing disaster recovery training drills where, just like a fire drill, your team walks through a disaster scenario. This will allow them to learn what to do and work out any kinks in the plan before a real disaster strikes.

You’ll also want to communicate your plan to your key vendors, which may include:

  • Your phone and internet providers
  • Your IT services provider
  • Suppliers that you receive regular deliveries from
  • Any contractors or subcontractors you work with

Revising Your Plan

A disaster recovery plan should be a living document that adapts and changes as your company needs and circumstances change. Determine a specific time that your plan “expires” and plan for that review date.

After a disaster strikes, you’ll inevitably find some things that need updating in your plan or that you found could be done better when a real disaster recovery event occurred. You may also find some things that you hadn’t thought about when creating your disaster recovery plan but came up during the event. Keep those items in mind during the next plan update.

It’s best to revise your plan as soon as possible after you’ve recovered from a disaster, so everything will be fresh in your mind and you can ensure your plan stays current. Invite all team members to give their input, which will ensure a robust plan with as many bases covered as possible.

Need Help with Backup and Disaster Recovery Planning?

You don’t have to plan alone when it comes to protecting your business. Twin State Technical Services can help you prepare a solid disaster recovery plan, communicate it to your team, and be on hand when you need us with a rapid data recovery response.

TSTS helps companies in the Quad Cities area with back up and disaster recovery solutions, including providing tools to keep their data stored safely in the cloud and ensuring a rapid response plan is in place should a catastrophe strike.

Don’t leave disaster planning for tomorrow, start today by calling 563-441-1504 or reaching out online.

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