A Guide To Disaster Recovery Plan

Deney 26 February 2013 1

In today’s automated environment everything is automatically performed and as a result if anything were to go wrong with the system as a result of a disaster, it can lead to severe difficulties and huge financial losses. In order to prevent this, it is essential to have a disaster recovery plan in place. A disaster recovery plan includes various steps through which an organization can recover the system and data through which it has been operating so far and through which it will continue its operations. The plan should have been devised in such a way that it enables speedy recovery from the disaster thus enabling operations to be performed as usual and normalcy restored as soon as possible, thus cutting short losses and time wastage.

Why Do You Need A Disaster Recovery Plan?

The disaster recovery plan has to make way for recovery procedures in the event of any type of disaster. Disasters that can affect normal functioning of an organization include man-made and natural disaster. There is no single plan available for disaster recovery, excepting that it can be in the form of preventative plans that help to avoid the problem, plans that can detect and stop the presence of malicious threats that can sabotage work and plans that can help to restore normal functioning after a disaster has struck the premises.

Disaster recovery plans are essential for organizations of all scales of operations. The plans can be something as complex as having a back up of critical data in a third-party system to using something as simple as password protection for assessing systems. By implementing a disaster recovery plan, your organization stands to gain in many ways. The benefits of implementing a disaster recovery plan include:

  • It offers security against the danger of a disaster that can wipe out entire systems and activities

  • It reduces the financial and legal losses that can occur as a result of the disaster

  • It offers a quick means of replacement for all the data and systems that were suddenly lost as a result of the disaster

  • It can help prevent the loss of credible goodwill

  • It can help to prevent loss of important information that is essential to running operations

  • It will enable the organization to carry out its operations as usual, thus enabling it to offer services to customers normally and pay employees on time

Steps Involved In Implementing A Disaster Recovery Plan

The responsibility of implementing a disaster recovery plan lies with top management personnel in an organization. They should look into the impending need for disaster recovery plan and to allocate appropriate resources for such a plan. A committee must be formed which carries out a risk analysis on various departments of the organization.

The committee must carry out a business impact analysis wherein a detailed research is done on all activities performed by the organization (critical and non-critical), what kind of disaster can affect them and stop their functioning etc. Those areas which are critical must be separated as these activities are absolutely essential to the functioning of the organization and without them the organizations will cease to carry out operations. Various risks that can affect them must be listed out and they must then be analyzed in detailed to chalk out a plan to recuperate after every type of disaster.

A plan must be made available for every disaster that can strike the organization. Once the plan has been developed it must be tested to prove that it can work effectively to control the results of the disaster and to restore normal functioning to the organization as soon as possible. The effectiveness of a disaster recovery plan largely lies on how quickly it is able to bring back normal functioning and this should be the purpose of the plan right from the outset. When testing the plan, it should be able to show that it can quickly pull out the organization from the disaster and restore normal functioning fast.

Here is a look at the steps involved in implementing disaster recovery plan in brief:

  • Organize analysis of risks based on activities performed by each department

  • Carry out a business impact analysis

  • Carry out a risk assessment on existing business scenario

  • Chalk out ways in which various risks can be stopped

  • Create a detailed recovery plan man-made and natural disaster

  • Allot people who can implement the steps in the event of a disaster

  • Test various procedure in the plan to find out of it works and what changes need to be done

  • Carrying out testing drills so that people know what to do in the event of a disaster striking the premises

After the plan has been tested it is vital to have a mock-show on how to implement procedures that can help to cope with a disaster and train employees in critical position on it. Finally, the plans must be updated from time-to-time, as changes happen to the organization’s structure and as employees arrive and leave it and with changes in existing business scenarios.


Deney (7 Posts)

Deney Dentel is the CEO at Nordisk Systems, Inc., a managed and cloud computing service provider company in Portland, OR. Deney is the only localised and authorised IBM business partner in Pacific Northwest. You can also follow him on LinkedIn.

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