June 2018

4 Do’s and Don’ts of Disaster Recovery Planning

When discussing disaster recovery and business continuity all companies should invest some time and resources into protecting themselves against disasters. Hurricane season alone puts potential risk into perspective. The facts are that all companies will undergo a disaster at some point and have the task of restoring lost data or rebuilding an IT network after a system crash. To alleviate unnecessary risks, follow these disaster recovery dos and don’ts to protect your organization.

Do have a plan of action

Having a written plan is critical in the case of a disaster. Knowing what to do and how to it before you actually need it will save you considerable time and resources in the moment. Document all equipment, applications, environment configurations, vendor contracts and agreements including contact information, and make sure information is accessible in multiple locations. Review your disaster recovery plan yearly and refine your business continuity plans as necessary to protect your organization.

Don’t assume everyone knows what to do in the case of a disaster
One of the most challenging parts of a successful disaster recovery plan is ensuring employees know what to do in an emergency. A written plan can help organize staff and logistics in understanding each person’s role in mitigating risks during disaster situations. Implement a yearly meeting including all employees at the beginning of the year or the beginning of hurricane season can refresh various policies for staff on procedures during and after a backup migration.

Do backup more than just your data

Rebuilding after a disaster effects more than just your company’s data. IT infrastructure components, application settings, equipment, and more must be restored in order for operations to begin working properly. Utilizing the right data backup software or virtualization integration, a company can back up more than just data. The goal is ultimately to ensure all systems will be fully operational as quickly as possible should a disaster occur.

Don’t update systems without ensuring your backup system can support it
Many organizations make the mistake of updating hardware and IT systems to the point where its current backup technology can no longer handle the amount of space needed. Whenever planning your disaster recovery and business continuity plan, ensure your backup system software can support those changes or you risk failure due to incompatibility or lack of storage.

Do test your plan

Testing your plan reduces the risk of unanticipated errors. A shocking 68% of companies have never tested their plan. Practicing disaster drills regularly will help employees respond appropriately when a disaster strikes. Regular testing helps identify gaps in the recovery capability or employee roles to progress towards continuous or near continuous business operations. Repetition is the best way to learn especially because you never know when a disaster will strike. Creating artificial emergencies in the form of drills can help create that needed repetition.

Don’t wing it

When it comes to the effects of downtime it can hit more than just your data. Interruptions can affect your bottom line, production, customers, and more. DR is not something that you should ignore, be as prepared as possible. Create a strong plan, practice it, adjust it, and keep it up to date.

Do your research

Many organizations believe that high quality disaster recovery software is too expensive for their needs. However, there various options that can reduce costs without reducing effectiveness and even potentially increase efficiency in the workplace. There are many options available to fit any organization and any budget such as cloud options, virtualization, on premise, managed disaster recovery, and more. Consult a disaster recovery provider to help understand what would work best for your business.

Don’t ignore the risk of a disaster

Data center disasters are more common than you think. The biggest mistake companies make is thinking it won’t happen to them. Approximately 47% of companies experienced an outage or downtime this year. Don’t wait for a disaster to strike to realize how vulnerable your systems are. Investing in technologies that protect your company’s assets can make all the difference.

Find out more about our Disaster Recovery Services

As a leader in disaster recovery planning our certified consultants can help you evaluate and create a plan specifically designed for your organization. For more information on our disaster recovery offering contact us and begin your preparation in the face of disasters this hurricane season.