The future of your company or organization might very well depend on a well-built disaster recovery plan. Business continuity planning should be considered mandatory for any company, regardless of the size, and should be taken seriously from day one. Your system or database of information should always be protected, and not just on a local server. Software and application crashes, network malfunctions and technology disasters can occur at any time and even the most powerful servers can be shut down instantly. Without a reliable backup and disaster recovery plan, any natural or man-made disaster can result in the inexistence of your company and all you have worked hard to achieve until that point.
The purpose of disaster recovery plans is to minimize reconstruction costs, protect your vital company data and avoid even more damage than the ones created post-disaster. In this small guide, we will teach you what you can do to outline and create a disaster recovery plan that can help your business continue living even after a terrible disaster. Learn how you can write a disaster recovery plan for businesses below.
Do Your Research
Before creating your checklist and beginning the disaster recovery plan process, it is critical to do some background work and documentation. The internet is filled with free templates and examples of how the disaster recovery plan document should look like. You can find a PDF or Word doc and have your disaster recovery plan developed on those guidelines.
Also, it helps to be familiar with useful acronyms such as NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), SQL (Structured Query Language), FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) or ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), to name a few. Nevertheless, make sure that you take the sample, template or example provided and adjust the steps according to your company’s personal needs. For instance, if your company is a healthcare organization like a hospital, you should do research on the HIPAA disaster recovery plan.
Another option is to collaborate with professionals to create your company’s disaster recovery plan. You can also look into solutions like VMware, Microsoft SharePoint or Oracle Disaster Recovery Solutions, but we’ll get more into these below.
Analyze Your Company
After you have a general idea about the definition of a disaster recovery plan, you’ll see that it’s pretty simple to understand. After you have a general idea about the definition of a disaster recovery plan, you’ll see that it’s pretty simple to understand. The next step is to see where your company is at so you can plan for any contingency. Define what computer technology your company relies on to function and re-consult your protection policy, if it exists.
An important part of this process is identifying the center of your company’s resources, servers included. For example, if you are a manufacturing company that relies on a single local server for all of your data, you might want to consider a cloud computing solution in case any industrial hazards take place. You should begin excluding outdated methods of storage and look into the new opportunities that the evolution of technology now offers us.
Apply Prevention Methods
Prevention and protection are the best ways to prepare your disaster recovery plan. Of course, it is crucial to think of the worst and see how you can repair damages, but it is even more significant to see how you can prevent them from occurring in the first place. In this regard, the most reliable way to protect your company’s crucial data is through cloud computing, as we showed in our aforementioned example.
While local servers do a fine job of storing a large amount of information, they can crash and permanently be destroyed at any given moment. To prevent the loss of your company’s core information, you can switch to cloud computing technology. Your data will be stored online, and all of your employees will be able to have authorized access through an internet connection. Do your research and find a trusted provider that can fulfill the requirements of your business.
Create Your Disaster Recovery Plan
When you’re ready to create your disaster recovery plan, make sure that you have all the data you need beforehand. At this point, you should already know your company’s IT strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, you should have considered some prevention methods, like the one we spoke about above. When you are ready, proceed with a similar structure for your disaster recovery plan:
- Statement, Introduction or Policy – include the results from a risk assessment, as well as the objective of your disaster recovery plan.
- Prevention – describe the steps that your company can take to prevent the disaster.
- Disaster Recovery Strategies – outline the ways in which you will be able to recover data from the disaster, as well as how much time it will take.
- Plan, Development and Steps – the specific steps your business will take to recover from a disaster.
- Testing the Disaster Recovery Plan – more information on this topic below.
- Updates and Maintenance – how you can always upgrade your disaster recovery plan when changes take place in your business.
These are just the main points that your disaster recovery plan should expand on. Depending on your niche, products, services, number of employees and so on, you should set specific guidelines and rules for disasters and similar situations.
Testing the Disaster Recovery Plan
Last but certainly not least, it is imperative that you test your disaster recovery plan. Everyone at your workplace should know about the steps that need to be taken and how they can help in such a situation. By testing your plan, you will also find out what the weakest points are and how you can adjust them beforehand. If you have decided to invest in additional resources (like cyber security or cloud computing solutions), make sure that they succeed in protecting your company’s data.
As a final note, we highly recommend that you take all of these steps when founding your business and always keep your disaster recovery plan up to date.