Isn’t it disturbing how a disaster (whether man made or natural) can devastate your business? While disasters are inevitable, you can mitigate risks and lessen the damage to your business in the event of one through a DRP (Disaster Recovery Plan). While it may not seem important to some businesses, especially if yours has never been faced with a disaster, a DRP would be a good idea.
While there are several facets to a DRP that are going to determine whether it will be effective or not, making sure that you’ve considered these 5 tips is definitely a good start.
1.) Commitment from management
Because the managers are the ones who will coordinate the development of the plan and be the central figures who implement the recovery plan, it’s crucial that they are committed to it and are willing to back it up.
They will also be responsible for setting an allocated budget and manpower to creating the actual plan. That said, it’s very important that they know the concept behind it and how huge of an impact a DRP can have on a business.
2.) A representative on each department should be available when creating a DRP
It’s unthinkable to believe that your DRP is well optimized when you haven’t had a representative from each department coordinate with you while creating the recovery program.
Considering how they themselves are the front line of your organization with the best knowledge about how their department works, it’s a huge plus that you should take advantage of when creating a DRP.
With the representatives on your team, you’ll be able to see things from their perspective and gain first-hand knowledge from those who do the actual work.
3.) Remember to prioritize
In an ideal world, you should be able to restore everything at the same time after a disaster strikes. But since most businesses usually have a limited amount of resources, you will usually have to recover systems one at a time.
Because of this, you need to have a hierarchy or a sense of priority when determining which systems should be recovered first. That way, the most important systems are immediately brought back up while the less important ones are then queued in order of their importance.
4.) Determining your recovery strategies
This is one of the main focal points of a DRP since this phase tackles the actual strategies or steps that you’ll implement to recover your systems.
When determining your actual strategies, it's important that you brainstorm and think about all the options that you have to recovering your systems. Don’t simply stick with the cheapest possible strategy or even the most expensive ones.
You have to remember though that the simplest strategy to implement is probably the best one. That is, as long as the simplest strategy covers the critical aspects of your system recovery.
That said, avoid over complicating your strategies as you might face unnecessary challenges when it comes to the implementation of the recovery strategy.
5.) Do a dry run at least once a year
Your DRP shouldn’t end with the concept alone. No matter how foolproof you think your strategy is, if you haven’t tested it you most likely have missed something important.
It's during the dry run phase that the need for extra steps (or the removal of one) are made even more evident. You can then start polishing your strategies according to how your dry run plays out. It would also be a good year to practice your plan each year and update it accordingly.
These tips will help you ensure that your DRP will remain effective should a disaster occur. If you’re having a hard time figuring out how to go about the process of creating a DRP, then give us a call now and we’ll help you with the process.