What's Missing from Your Disaster Recovery Plan?

Focusing on the positive is quite rational, especially if you are an IT executive looking to grow a business to become like 25% of businesses that make it to the 15th year. However, it reaches a point when you have to think about what you will do if the unexpected happens. An unexpected setback, like a disaster, can bring a business to the ground. 

From a fire breakout to a malware attack, disasters in IT take many forms. But they don’t have to turn into a nightmare if you are fully prepared. This means that a plan should be in motion.  

Your disaster recovery plan should focus on the steps and activities to be taken when a disaster occurs. If you have been unsuccessful in recovering your business after a disaster, here are some of the things your plan may be missing. 

1. Your IT Inventory 

Always include a list of the IT resources needed to run the business in the recovery plan. These resources include software, hardware, and systems. 

As you do this, ask the employees how their jobs will be affected if certain IT resources are inaccessible for a given period of time. Find out from them the data and applications that are important to the business. 

It may also help if the disaster recovery plan had models of a typical disaster. The models help you understand which IT resources will be impacted when a disaster strikes. 

2. The Right Technologies 

One of the major reasons why most disaster recovery plans for IT companies fail is because they use the wrong technologies. Your business may rely on the wrong technology in a number of ways. For instance, you may be using outdated techniques, equipment, or media. 

While you may have a limited budget, choosing cheap technology available will cost your business a lot of money. These solutions may leave your systems vulnerable and may weaken the recovery plan. It’s high time you invested in the right disaster recovery technology. You also need to update the software or applications that you dedicate to the recovery work. Even more, only use solutions that are easy to scan for malware and errors. 

3. Recovery Timeline 

Your DR plan should include recovery targets for each of your critical functions so your team knows when they can expect systems to be back up and running after an outage occurs. 

Determining and defining your recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs) represent how much downtime your business can tolerate before operations are fully restored, and, the maximum amount of data you can withstand losing without critical consequences, respectively. 

Essentially, the longer it takes to bring the IT systems back up, the higher the number of losses you and your customers will likely endure. 

4. Detailed Responsibility  

A disaster recovery plan is incomplete without input from people working or associated with your IT business. These people need to know the steps to take when a disaster hits. You should define their roles early to help them resolve any issues that arise. 

Assign responsibilities to employees that are easy to reach. They should have also shown great interest in helping the business avoid and fight disasters in the recent past. You’ll need them to communicate to customers and stockholders about the measures you are taking to fight a disaster. 

Ensure that you clearly articulate the roles assigned to your staff. You should also avail the contact details for your managed IT services team to help you with the recovery.  

5. A Data Backup and Recovery Plan

It’s no secret that disasters usually have a negative impact on data belonging to a business. So, if you want to remain functional when the unexpected happens, you need to back up your company’s data. There should also be a plan in place to help recover the data. Backing up the data can help prevent a breach from any sources. It also helps you correct and reduces damages that are brought by a disaster.

6. Validation

You need to test your disaster recovery plan at least twice a year. Testing can help you identify loopholes in the plan for you to fix them. 

As you test the plan, think about how your business will execute it. The test should help you identify the priorities for your data and IT services. Keep testing and refining the plan until you are certain that it is doable. 


Ready to Activate Your Disaster Recovery Plan?  

All in all, your disaster recovery plan should cover a number of things for it to work. It should help you identify threats, set goals, and find the best ways to meet these goals. Always revisit and test the plan to give your business a better chance of lasting through an unexpected event. 

Let’s talk. 

From Recovery to Resilience: The SMBs Guide to Business Continuity; download now:

Tags: ,