Unexpected events are a fact of life. Most regions of the world are vulnerable to natural disasters, not to mention the many problems that can be caused by man, such as terrorism or cyber crimes. As such, it is essential for organizations of all types to have a disaster recovery plan in place, so that you are ready for the unpleasant surprises that life brings to your business setup. Also, even if you have such a backup plan, are you putting in effort to make sure it is a resilient plan?
Consider Your Area of Operations
The region in which your business is based or headquartered should be a factor of consideration when you are developing your disaster recovery plan. For example, if you are based in Kansas or Oklahoma, these states are situated in ‘Tornado Alley” – an area in the Central U.S. which is notorious for tornadoes. Your data centers should be in a building that can withstand strong winds, and you should have a storm shelter and systems in place for flooding. On the other hand, businesses based in New Orleans or a city along the Florida coastline should be prepared for hurricanes, while a business in Los Angeles should be prepared for earthquakes.
Be in Total Control of Your Inventory
One of the most important aspects of disaster planning is performing regular IT inventory checks. You must also evaluate all the equipment, including software and hardware, and determine what is replaceable and what isn’t. Having spare parts on hand from the vendor can help your firm quickly get back on its feet during an emergency. If you work with a managed services provider, you will often be in good hands when it comes to IT inventory management.
Keeping Communication Up in Adverse Situations
It is also crucial to establish reliable communication channels. How will you communicate with employees in the event that smartphones, text messaging or emails are no longer accessible? This is a serious issue particularly for firms that operate overseas in countries or regions with unstable political climates. In such areas of the world, things can quickly unravel in a matter of hours and the ability to communicate effectively can mean the difference between life and death. Employees must have a way of communicating that does not depend on solely local or international network as these may not be available.
Asking Questions Will Guide Your Disaster Preparedness
You should also know the applications that are the most important and should be rapidly addressed in the event of the emergency. How is your company’s tolerance for downtime? How dependent are you on servers and other things that require electricity or internet access? Your answers to these questions will determine your level of preparation and what to expect if and when an emergency arises.
Disaster Planning is Not a One-Off Affair
Your plans should be regularly reviewed, at least once per year. Studies show that only about 40 percent of firms worldwide assess their plans within this time frame. Some test their plans every few years and a number of companies don’t check or even have a plan at all. Your plan should be reviewed by an expert who actually specializes in disaster planning to ensure it is a sound one. They will note any weaknesses and show you areas which can be improved upon. Remember, when you keep reviewing your disaster recovery plan as your business evolves, you will be protecting the best interest of your company in the event that disasters strike.