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Business Continuity Planning (BCP) / Disaster Recovery Planning
October 24, 2010If there is a single most important thing you can do to protect your business, it is to have a complete and effective disaster recovery plan. We ask most business owners or CEOs if they have a life insurance policy. They always say "Yes, of course" or "Absolutely". We ask what about an insurance policy on their business or auto. Same answer. Then we ask if they have a disaster recovery policy. Nine times out of ten, we get a "No" or a "What is it?" A disaster recovery policy is just as important as a life insurance policy. It is a policy which ensures your business will continue to function or recover in case of a disaster.
Lets define a disaster:
It can be any weather related disaster such as extreme cold or snow / ice storm, damaging winds, flood, etc.. It can also be a fire, electrical failure, terrorist action, extensive staff out of work, or any reason that may seriously impair your business ability to function. We saw this during 9/11 and during Katrina. Companies without a disaster recovery plan almost always go out of business.
What does a disaster recovery plan contain:
- Written (preferred) or electronic information stating the plan itself.
- Information regarding who will play what role during a disaster.
- Information regarding contact information of all parties that may be involved during a disaster. This includes local emergency responders, backup IT & Telephony vendors, electricians, maintenance staff, family members, etc..
- Specific types of scenarios and how to respond to each accordingly.
- A list of all critical business systems and who is responsible for their maintenance/support.
- Possible alternative work locations.
- Possible alternative critical company data locations. All systems should have backups stored safely off-site.
- What to do if network equipment is damaged or unavailable.
- Alternate ways to restore internet connectivity.
- Ways to route calls that cannot be answered normally.
In completeing a disaster recovery plan, your company will:
- Realize its weaknesses and areas that need pro-active improvement to meet the plan.
- Make owners and staff more aware of what to do in an emergency.
- Increase the redundancy of network devices.
- Define and improve power delivery and stability.
- Better manage system backups and where they are stored.
- Clearly define how to restore systems if they are damaged or lost.
- Define alternative roles and resources if certain staff members become incapacitated or otherwise unavailable.
If your company does not have a DR plan, please call Platinum ITS today. Even a simple plan is better then nothing at all and may save your company if something terrible happens. Dont think that disasters only happen to other companies, it can happen to you.