Have your been tasked with building a recovery plan for your business and you don’t know where to begin? While it might sound like a daunting task, it really isn’t all that difficult, but you will need to learn some of the basics before you begin your journey!
The good thing is you aren’t alone, all of our customers have faced and overcome the same thing.
First, you have to determine the “why” and “how” of the project. WHY is it critical for YOUR business to have a plan and HOW are you expected to get it done? Most of this is simply finding the pressure point and leveraging that towards the funding and solution you have been tasked with. If you need help with this, contact us and we’ll happily help you through the proess, (for free).
Second, avoid the regular pit falls (call trees, only IT backups, etc) that will create a lot of work and aren’t even close to what you should have to pass an audit.
We have seen a million times how a call tree simply doesn’t work. Why? Simple, people are unreliable. I know that sound mean, but think about it… They want unreasonable things like vacation, sick days, sick kids, out of the office, etc. If they don’t pass their responsibilities to a co-worker, their link in the tree gets broken and that is the end of the call tree.
The concept of “calling two friends and so on” works great for Shampoo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgDxWNV4wWY), it doesn’t give you a reliable method for notifying your team in the event of a disaster. Everbridge (a technology partner of ours) has an excellent section of their website that deals with a lot of the issues you are likely to face, check out:
Their system is completely integrated with ours and we have worked with them for a number of years now. Very good and very reliable system.
Third, it is critical to stop thinking that a disaster is something huge like H1N1, earthquake, hurricane, etc…
A disaster can be something very small, any interruption to regular business really. Think of the last snowstorm, power failure, etc. were you able to work as normal? Did everyone make it to work at their regular hour? For every hour lost, use our Phoenix Return on Investment (ROI) tool to determine the “cost” of the interruption. If you are trying to secure budget, this is the best starting point as it puts some real numbers to each hour of downtime. To use the calculator, go to www.disasterrecovery.com/roi
Last, I know… lots of reading.
Remember that there is more to Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity than just backups and computer recovery. There is the whole office component meaning who are our suppliers? who owes us money? who do we owe money to? what are our Service Level Agreements (SLAs)? What penalties do we pay in event we can’t deliver on contracts? what are our legislative requirements? This is the essence of Business Continuity, the entire business side of the corporation. From a strictly IT perspective; there are the number of computers, what each of them does, not to mention how they are networked. This type of information isn’t captured in the “backups” promised by your IT manager. As you can see there is a lot more to BC/DR planning than computer backups and call trees.
It’s a lot to take in, but I know these are all things that you have to consider when it comes to planning, but they are critical to building a foundation that you can go to senior management with. If you simply ask them for money, with no reasoning or foundation, you aren’t likely to get any. If you go to them with the numbers (i.e. dollars lost per hour of downtime), you are a lot more likely to get the funding you will need to build a successful plan.