Backup Disaster Recovery Planning: The Basics

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Having a backup disaster recovery plan in place is crucial to the long-term success and survival of your business.

A backup disaster recovery plan is crucial to the survival of a business. The odds of a business surviving a major disaster without a plan are pretty low, and it’s impossible to know when a disaster will strike. It’s the unpredictability that makes disasters the most dangerous. If something terrible happened tomorrow, would you be ready? If not, you better get started. Here are some important things to consider as you create your backup disaster recovery plan.

Data recovery

One of the primary focuses of your backup disaster recovery plan should pertain to how you will recover your data. Where is your data right now? How will it be restored to your system and whose job will it be? Does that person know how to do that? Do they need practice? This is also a really good time to take a look at how you backup your data. Having a plan to recover data is pointless if the backup data doesn’t exist. Make sure that your backups are current, and saved in several reasonable places. At least one copy should be off-site in case of a natural disaster. Make sure that you do have easy access to the data as well.

Communication

The quality and efficiency of the communication during a disaster has a huge effect on how everything turns out. It’s important to make sure that your disaster recovery plan includes specifics about how communication should happen during a disaster. Will a chain of command be formed? Will certain people have certain jobs? What happens if a part of the plan goes wrong? The key to a strong plan is to think of everything, or at least as much as possible.

Education and practice

A disaster recovery plan is completely useless if nobody knows what to do. Make sure to educate your employees about the details of the plan. Each employee should, at the very least, know exactly what they are responsible for. This will look different for every company. A great way to make sure that everyone knows what’s going on is a series of seminars or classes, but memos might work better for some. Just do whatever works best for your staff.

Once everybody knows what they’re doing, do a couple of practice rounds. Run through different parts of the plan. This will be a good chance to catch any mistakes and find out if someone isn’t quite sure what to do. Believe it or not, the practice rounds are almost as important as the training sessions.

Testing

You can consider the practice rounds to be tests also if you’d like, but it’s important that you have a chance to evaluate the recovery plan. There will probably be holes here and there. Do you have too many people doing that, but not enough doing this? Maybe there’s a task that needs a certain skill set that isn’t available in the staff that have been assigned to it. Using the results of the test runs, tweak your plan to make it exactly what your company needs.

Continuity

The goal of all of this is to maintain continuity as much as possible. Of course, immediately after the disaster, you’ll probably have to close, but you want to open again as soon as possible. There are several reasons for this, but the main reason is that you need to be able to take care of the customers that are depending on you. A lack of continuity is the fastest way to lose customers.

Have more questions about your backup disaster recovery plan? Contact us. We’re happy to answer all of your questions and help you with anything that you need.

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