No business is completely immune to disasters. From floods and wildfires to cyber-attacks and hardware failures, an unexpected disaster could put a business at risk for costly losses and reputational damage. When disaster strikes, a disaster recovery plan (DRP) can enable businesses to recover quickly by having a practical plan in place.
What Is A Disaster Recovery Plan?
A disaster recovery plan is a type of business plan that outlines how work will be resumed as quickly and effectively as possible following a disaster. Business continuity is an essential process when an unexpected event occurs that disrupts operations and stops the flow of revenue. Without a disaster recovery plan in place, businesses risk losing money and potential customers. Extended periods of downtime could even force a business to close its doors permanently.
A disaster recovery plan should include a variety of information, such as what the organization classifies as a disaster, the type of disaster a business may face, the impact that the disaster could have on the organization and how employees and management should approach a catastrophe should one occur.
What Is Important To Include In A Disaster Recovery Plan?
Having a disaster recovery plan in place allows businesses to be prepared when a sudden event occurs that impacts the business, its data, or employees. However, a DRP must be detailed and include clear, specific steps to ensure that there is no confusion about the proper steps to take during and after a disaster. Here are just a few important things to include in a disaster recovery plan:
Inventory Of All Assets & Services Provided
A disaster recovery plan should begin by listing the business’s assets and services. This includes physical assets, such as hardware and software, as well as digital assets that rely on technology.
These assets and services should also be placed in a specific order based on priority. The assets, equipment, and services at the top of the list will have the greatest impact on the organization and therefore should be addressed first, following a disaster. When creating an inventory, consider what equipment and assets the business uses on a daily basis and are required to continue normal business operations.
Determination Of An Off-Site Location
Depending on the type of disaster and its severity, there is a chance that the main site of the business could be destroyed. Floods, fires, and other disasters can completely destroy important data and equipment, resulting in tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
Having a temporary off-site location for disaster recovery purposes is critical to allow business operations to resume while the main site is being repaired or renovated. The off-site location should contain at least the minimum amount of equipment and inventory the business will need to continue operations if the primary business site cannot be accessed for a period of time.
Determination Of Possible Disasters For Your Location
While it is important for businesses to be prepared for any type of disaster that may come their way, it is also important to know what types of disasters are most likely. For example, hurricanes are far less likely to impact businesses located in central states compared to cities along the coastline.
However, other types of disasters can affect businesses in all locations and industries, such as cyber-attacks. Determine which disasters are most likely to impact the business and put them in a list based on which are the most likely to least likely.
Communication Plans & Role Assignments
When a disaster occurs within a business, having proper communication between employees, management, and stakeholders is critical for a fast recovery. A disaster recovery plan should include an extensive list of everyone who should be contacted during a catastrophe. This emergency contact list should include names, phone numbers, and email addresses.
In addition to contacting people directly involved in the business, have the contact information of certain third-party vendors, such as hardware and software vendors and the internet service provider. A disaster recovery plan should also have the specific roles of each person involved in recovery to avoid confusion. Be sure to clarify all emergency job assignments with staff members on a routine basis.
Reach Out To Learn More About Our Managed IT Services
Having a detailed and practical disaster recovery plan in place is more important than most businesses realize. According to FEMA, an estimated 40 to 60 percent of all small businesses never reopen their doors following a disaster. With the rapid growth of technology, the recovery of IT operations is more important than ever.
Fortunately, managed IT services can help businesses through remote monitoring, cloud services, data backup, and disaster recovery. To learn more about the disaster recovery process, call us at 212.886.0790 or schedule a consultation online to get started today.