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3 Items to Consider Before Writing Your DR Plan

NOAA recently released their prediction for an above average hurricane season this year, once again highlighting the importance of a good Disaster Recovery (DR) plan to ensure business continuity. Whether affected by a natural disaster, commercial power outage or cyberattack such as the recent WannaCry virus, businesses today must be able to continue operations to survive a disaster. A well-documented DR plan clearly outlines the procedures and protocols needed to guarantee that your company can continue operating during and following a disaster.

Before writing your plan, be sure to take the following into account:

Perform a Business Impact Analysis (BIA).

A Business Impact Analysis (BIA) identifies the financial and operational consequences associated with the disruption of key business functions. Consequences may include: lost sales, delayed income, increased expenses related to the outage (ex. overtime pay), regulatory fines, damage to business reputation and potential loss of customers. This analysis helps organizations identify their mission-critical data and applications and determine how much downtime they can afford for those systems. For example, most businesses must be able to receive payments and pay vendors to function. Thus, accounting systems should be deemed mission-critical and prioritized to ensure timely payments occur.

Businesses can use the information obtained in their BIA to determine the Recovery Point Objectives (RPO)  and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) needed for their mission-critical systems. Immedion offers Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solutions with one hour RPOs and four hour RTOs. This quick failover ensures minimized downtime even in the event of a disaster.

Establish necessary and back-up personnel.

Now that you’ve evaluated critical data and systems, it’s crucial to determine which personnel you need to keep those systems online and what steps they need to take to do so. We also recommend establishing back-ups for these roles in case a key player is out of town or unable to perform their role. Compile names and contact information as well as alternative communication plans should standard measures be offline or compromised. Your company’s key personnel and their back-ups should undergo regular training and review of procedures.

Select an alternate work location.

When a disaster strikes, it’s possible you may not be able to work from your office. Select a secondary location from which your business can operate if necessary. This can be arranged through a third-party vendor. At Immedion, we offer our customers the use of our Disaster Recovery room if necessary, and customers can utilize that space as an alternative work area as long as they need.

These three considerations should operate as a starting point for writing your disaster recovery plan as they will help you firmly establish the steps that must be taken and by whom to ensure your business continues operating.

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