Disasters – when they strike – can cause a significant amount of loss to a business. They can give business leaders sleepless nights. However, you can mitigate a disaster’s impact on business by putting an IT disaster recovery strategy in place.
Every business leader is responsible for creating a business continuity plan, which includes disaster management. Creating a disaster recovery plan prepares you for worst-case scenarios. The plan helps you make provisions for complete as well as partial loss of data. But how do you write a plan that is comprehensive and all-encompassing yet effective? By asking the right questions!
1. What’s the Cost of Data Loss for Your Business?
In the face of disaster, data loss is something that hits a business very hard. However, there are some additional yet not so obvious costs that a business has to struggle with:
- Rebuilding the data lost
- Business lost due to unavailability of data
- Cost endured due to server downtime
If your business has insurance coverage, you need to know how much it will cover. After you have these things sorted out you can make provisions in your plan.
2. What Data Requires Protection?
The whole idea of having a network disaster recovery plan in place is to protect your business data. However, you should know what critical data to your business is and what it’s not. Break your data into the following three categories:
Business Critical: This includes data that your business cannot survive without.
Good to Have: This includes data that will make business operations easy but its absence will not bring things to a screeching halt.
Not too Critical: This includes data that does not impact your day-to-day operations.
Ask the management what would happen if this data wasn’t available for a week or even a month. Based on this you will be able to determine what needs to be backed up and at what intervals.
3. Is Hardware Configuration Information Backed Up?
At times, businesses have a back-up plan to protect the data that is generated in the usual course of business. However, there is configuration information for certain hardware or critical computers that are equally important. Ask your management if this information has been backed up or not. If not, you need to make provision for that as well.
4. What Should You Store On-Site and Off-Site?
You may be backing up your data on a regular basis. But you should ideally have a copy of the back up at an off-site location as well in case a disaster makes your current facility unusable. So, work with your management to identify what data you should store on-site exclusively and what you should store at off-site locations as well. How many off-site locations will you use to store this backed up data?
5. How Do You Store Data Off-site?
Once you have identified the data and the locations for off-site storage, you need to establish the protocol for off-site data storage. Will you store the data physically or in a digital format? Who will be responsible for managing the off-site storage? Will there be special training involved to prepare people for such off-site storage? Your disaster management plan should include all these aspects.
6. How Will You Test Your Recovery Plan?
Disasters strike once in a blue moon, but the plan’s execution needs to do like a fire drill at periodic intervals. Define a testing process that prepares your IT administrators for different types of stress scenarios. Get them to perform partial restorations on a regular basis as per your test plan. This will help you identify gaps in your plan and take corrective actions on time.
Instead of adopting an ostrich attitude and burying their heads in the sand, business leaders should prepare to face disasters. To get assistance with IT disaster recovery strategy, contact Dynamix Solutions. We can work with you on your disaster recovery needs and help you with our cloud disaster recovery solutions.