What does a robust disaster recovery plan need?

October 25, 2016 Data & System Recovery

It's impossible to predict what kind of negative future event fate holds for an organization. A disaster recovery plan is the best defense a company can have against major business disruptions caused by a catastrophe. but saying so is a lot different than actually implementing such a procedure. With all of the widely ranging aspects to consider, creating and maintaining a solution can become incredibly difficult. 

That said, there are some major points that a lot of businesses forget when coming up with a plan. To that end, let's take a look at some of the most important pieces that every disaster recovery solution needs to include. 

Discuss employee needs

"It can be easy to forget about the human element."

With all of the technical aspects of these kinds of procedures, it can be easy to forget about the human element of an office. However, employees are at the heart of any company's success and ignoring their role in an emergency plan would be a major misstep. Basically, the needs and diverse roles of each staff member should be considered here. 

To begin, the environment in which employees will work in the event of a disaster that destroys the office must be considered, an aspect that we have discussed before. After this, it's important to ensure that employees will continue to be paid after a catastrophe. Many disasters affect large areas, and something like a hurricane is going to cause a lot of financial damage. If you can't continue payroll operations due to this event, you may find a lack of employee loyalty and morale. 

Finally, you'll want to ensure that employees have access to some sort of communications structure. Following the destruction of your facility, administrators obviously won't be able to receive calls on their office phone. A distribution of the personal phone numbers of company leaders to key staff members could help alleviate this concern. 

Constant testing

Another mistake that a lot of companies make is thinking that simply making a plan is good enough. While having a procedure in place is obviously the first and most important step, organizations must also test these disaster recovery solutions to ensure their effectiveness. Sadly, research shows that a lot of institutions don't do this often enough. 

Companies should always be testing their DR plan. Not testing a plan is one of the surest ways to fail.

A study conducted by the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council found that nearly one-third of observed businesses only tested their procedure once or twice a year. On top of this, nearly a quarter of respondents had never tested their plans. That's a shockingly high number of organizations that simply aren't making enough time to put their solution through its paces, and it's one of the biggest reasons that plans fail. In an article for TechTarget, Jon Toigo explained what a proper disaster recovery test should look like.

"In my perfect world, we would have defined strategies for data protection and restoration that could be tested in real time, on an ad hoc basis, using either simulated or "live" procedures," Toigo said. 

24/7/365 support from an outside partner

With so much on the line, keeping disaster recovery solution creation in-house simply isn't a feasible option. There are just too many obstacles to overcome for any company to be able to completely handle the process on its own. When looking for an partner to work with in this regard, it is therefore extremely important to find a vendor that has 24/7/365 technical support. 

Disasters don't wait for a convenient time in order to strike. They often hit at the odd hours of the night, or on weekends or holidays, and your team needs to know it has the backing of experienced professionals when catastrophe does come knocking. Those looking for such a trait should consider a disaster recovery solution from UbiStor. Our technicians are always on standby, waiting to help you when you need it most