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Fundamentally, almost every business is a technology business today. Data traffic carries far more than just internet traffic, it can carry VoIP, email, and offsite backup. In short – it’s communication. It’s your business’s lifeline. Your business is dependent on its technology. Is your disaster recovery plan in place?

“An information technology disaster recovery plan (IT DRP) should be developed in conjunction with the business continuity plan. Priorities and recovery time objectives for information technology should be developed during the business impact analysis. Technology recovery strategies should be developed to restore hardware, applications and data in time to meet the needs of the business recovery.”

ready.gov
Wildfire disaster. Picture of a hillside ablaze, with homes in the foreground. Photo by Michael Held on Unsplash

We recommend using ready.gov as a resource for writing your DR (Disaster Recovery) Plan. In addition to the guidance described there, we suggest the following additional planning steps, detailed below.

Some statistics regarding consequences of data loss:

  • 94% of companies suffering from a catastrophic data loss do not survive – 43% never reopen and 51% close within two years. (University of Texas)
  • 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster, filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. 50% of businesses that found themselves without data management for this same time period filed for bankruptcy immediately. (National Archives & Records Administration in Washington)
  • 7 out of 10 small firms that experience a major data loss go out of business within a year. (DTI/Price Waterhouse Coopers)
  • 30% of all businesses that have a major fire go out of business within a year and 70% fail within five years. (Home Office Computing Magazine)

“When did Noah build the Ark? BEFORE the rain started.”

Mark Horstman
Flood disaster: Photo by Chris Gallagher on Unsplash

Determine your capacity for downtime or data loss.

Think about how long you could be “down” if a disaster were to occur. Then think about how long it would take to rebuild the “lost” work between the latest recovery point (backup) and the disaster. You can have tested and proven backups, but they may still not meet the explicit needs of your business if you overlook these key metrics.

These objectives are called RTO and RPO:
RTO: Recovery Time Objective
RPO: Recovery Point Objective
Note them, and incorporate them into your DRP.

Inventory your systems, both hardware and software.


If you have a complicated line of business application with a temperamental SQL backend hosted on an on-premise server, your needs will be different than a business that runs entirely on software delivered as a service, such as Gmail or Salesforce. If you have a business that maintains a large local file share, your needs will be dramatically different from a business which does not use shared files. These factors affect the complexity of your DR plan.

Designate key personnel.


Clearly define key roles and responsibilities. Include third party vendors, and the entire staff from the C-suite on down. Include emergency contact information, who to contact when, and include their responsibilities.

Communication is essential.


How will you communicate with your employees when disaster strikes? Will your employees know how to perform their duties when a disaster strikes? What will you say to your customers? Planning this ahead of time, documenting it, and training your personnel ahead of time is critical to the success of recovering from a disaster.

Please, contact us for assistance with your Disaster Recovery plan. We have experience in creating comprehensive strategies to ensure business continuity. Don’t leave it to chance, act today.

 
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