In the modern day office, pretty much everyone understands the inconvenience and frustration of losing access to their computer systems. Very often it will completely stop work dead. When all of a company’s information exists in the cloud or on servers, if there’s an IT problem even finding a simple phone number can be nigh impossible. This is why IT disaster recovery plans are so important. And not only the plan, but the people involved in the plan itself. But who is ultimately responsible for such situations? Many ask why should IT departments be responsible for disaster recovery plans when there are so many moving parts in any given organization. In this article we’ll discuss who should be responsible for such actions and how to make them as efficient as possible.
It doesn’t take long for a technology disruption to start costing your company money. This becomes even more truthful the larger your organization is. Consider the cost of wages alone if 500 or 1000 employees are unable to effectively do their jobs for an hour or two. You’re quickly looking at thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is why planning for such problems is integral to the profitable function of any sized business.
An IT disaster recovery plan is an outline of how your business reacts to a technology disruption. It should include the policies, procedures and processes needed to regain access to the IT operations and systems which allow the components of your infrastructure to work properly. It should complete a risk assessment that identifies your IT assets, creates recovery plans, establishes documentation of the plan and schedules regular testing of the process. Clear, step by step instructions that respond to any possible technology disruption should be made readily available to the responsible parties.
It’s important to put together an IT disaster recovery team that represents all facets of your business. Many forward thinking managers ask why should IT departments be responsible for disaster recovery plans when the IT group likely has a limited understanding of how other departments function. Invite at least one member of each major department of the company to be part of the disaster recovery team.
A risk analysis is basically an audit of every part of your company that can be affected by a technology disruption. It should catalog all IT related equipment and software as well as the employees that use them and prioritize them according to importance in allowing the business to function. There should be an assessment of the impact a technology disruption can have on all these parts and how that impact affects their function. The risk analysis should allow you to understand the costs, monetary and functional, of various types of technology disruptions.
Your recovery plan should be documented in step by step processes that are assigned to the appropriate parties. These processes should include IT disaster prevention, detection, response, recovery and restoration plans for each department represented by the recovery team. Roles and responsibilities need to be assigned and documented so that all members of the team understand each other’s duties. There should be processes put into place for notifying the various team members and activating the plan once particular criteria are met. Budget forecasts should be created, and resources assessed and allocated. Backups should be put in place for both human and technological procedures.
Testing is essential to ensure your recovery plan actually works. It will demonstrate whether your risk assessment was thorough. Benchmarks need to be created to determine the success or failure of the recovery plan tests. Tests and their results should be documented and analyzed for deficiencies and ideas for improvement. You’ll want to run these tests at least once a year.
To ensure that your business has a proper disaster recovery plan in place and that unexpected downtime doesn’t mean lost revenue, get a free assessment from MBC today.