Your IT infrastructure is prone to cyber theft, virus attacks, malware and threats from all corners of the cyberspace. Apart from cyber threats, natural disasters too, pose a potential threat to your system. It is essential to plan your disaster recovery strategy well in advance. From backing up your contacts to storing your files in multiple devices and virtual space, you need a well-organized plan to deal with emergency conditions. Here, you will come across some most crucial aspects to include in your disaster recovery plan.
This disaster recovery plan checklist can be of immense help for you to stay safe and be operative throughout without much hindrance.
When you face a disaster, you need to notify the board members, executives, stakeholders and other key people in your organization. It is necessary to prepare an emergency contact list, with the phone numbers, names and email addresses of these people. Include the contacts of external resources, as you might need support from these departments during an emergency. These include your managed service provider, data centre, hosting centre and so on.
Disaster plan scope
Before developing the disaster recovery system, you need to identify which areas are to be included in your plan. It is necessary to know the duration for which particular systems might be offline, when data for your application will not be available. The common areas include data storage, telephony, servers, IT documents, database systems, software systems and so on.
Disaster recovery team
When you develop your disaster recovery team, frame the roles and responsibilities of each of the departments. You should assign motivated members in each team, ready to tackle the situation at a short notice. These members should be well-informed about the location of your stored files and other aspects. It is wise to distribute the responsibilities among different groups of members within your organization. They should be able to work in mutual coordination with each other, in case of a disaster.
You may divide your disaster recovery department into four groups; this is in fact what a typical offshore outsourcing company does
- Recovery lead
- Network team
- Server team
- Applications team
When you divide the responsibilities among dedicated groups, their task becomes more simplified and organized.
Data and backups
As soon as the connectivity gets restored in your system, you need to reinstate the backed-up data. This is one of the most crucial aspects of your disaster recovery management system, as information is the most vital asset of IT companies. You need to maintain a record of the locations where you stored up data. These are to be restored in such a way that the employees do not find it difficult to locate the information when they are back to the desired location. You can use a spreadsheet to categorize the data and store it in the cloud system. Even if your physical storage systems get damaged, you will be able to recover the information.
Restoring the functionality of your IT system
After recovering your data, the functionality of your IT system needs to be restored. This section includes important information that helps you to recover other systems. Most of the IT companies possess detailed diagrams of the architecture of these systems. They also possess the manuals that are necessary to restore the functionality of your IT systems. When the power supply is restored, they study these diagrams and manuals to make the system suitable for use. It is necessary to include detailed diagrams of the present IT system and its various components in these manuals. These should also include the system locations. Moreover, you also need to prioritize its importance, so that you face no difficulty in restoring the most crucial components.
Plan testing and maintenance
A disaster management strategy is insufficient, unless you can assess its effectiveness. You should test the plan and make sure that it comes handy to you at times of crisis. Besides, it is necessary to back-up your data regularly. You can arrange for daily data back-up systems, where all the information collected throughout the day automatically gets stored in a specific location. Most importantly, the strategy for disaster recovery has to be modified from time to time. With technological sophistication, you need to upgrade the disaster recovery system. This will ensure minimum or no loss of data. The said is one of the most important disaster recovery tips for small business.
Disaster recovery rehearsal
In order to ensure that your disaster recovery team can actualize its strategies during emergent conditions, you can organize rehearsals from time to time. This will test the efficiency of your team. Disaster recovery involves the participation of a large number of people. Lack of coordination between them may delay the process. It is important to identify any loophole in their functioning and rectify the same time to time. In case any team fails to perform its role, you should take necessary measures to ensure their efficiency.
Most organizations do not have the ability to form a flawless disaster management strategy due to lack of experience or resources. They can count on third party companies that provide disaster recovery services.It enables them to restore their IT infrastructure after a disaster with ease, pace and perfection.