We know how powerful technology can be and how it can be a  key part to recovering your business during these uncertain times, but without a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) in place prior to a threat, technology alone will not prevent long periods of downtime for your business.

You may have already started creating a DRP or planning to do so in the near future, to help with this process we have created a simple 9 step plan that you can follow so your business can be prepared for any potential disaster.

What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

A DRP is a strategy created by a business providing detailed instructions on how to respond to when affected by an unplanned natural disaster, cyber attack or power outage. It aims to minimises the effects of any unplanned incident getting your business back up and running as soon as possible.

Without a DRP your business will face longer recovery times to integral business infrastructures causing a negative business impact. You could see damage to your brand and reputation, dissatisfied customers and loss of revenue, potentially having to close the business for good.

Why is it important to have a disaster recovery Plan?

Most disasters don’t come with warnings.

You can have the most sophisticated cyber security in place, but human error can still lead to a successful cyber-attack. What would happen if your business was affected by a cyber-attack tonight, you have lost access to your data centers and key business infrastructures shutting down business operations. 

How quickly would your business be back up and running?

With a developed DRP you will have a plan in place which will have your business back up and running potentially in a matter of hours.

How do I create a Disaster Recovery Plan?

Identify who does what in a disaster

Create a list of key stakeholders, executives and managers, along with their disaster-response responsibilities.

Decisions like these will need to be made immediately, so your recovery plan should spell out exactly who will make them and how.

Put people first

You must have a plan for how you’ll take care of your employees in the event of actual human harm in a disaster.

How will you obtain urgent medical care or emergency supplies?

Have a backup office

Consider where your staff will work if the office cannot be opened.

Is technology in place to allow people to work remotely?

Determine equipment needs

Every business should already have up-to-date inventories of all office equipment, including computers, IT infrastructure, furniture and other assets. Your disaster recovery plan should identify how you’ll reproduce that entire inventory after a major disaster, as well as a smaller inventory of absolute mission-critical equipment.

Recover data

This includes all files, emails and digital assets. If it’s saved anywhere on your network, it needs to be backed up constantly and easily restored after a disaster.

Chances are this data is your business’s most valuable asset and the most important component affecting your business's downtime.

Make communication easy

Recovering after a disaster is impossible if your people can’t communicate with each other or don’t know how. Consider not only how people will communicate but also with whom.

How will you communicate with your workforce if email and phones are offline?

Protect hard-copy documents

You need to plan ahead for how you’ll protect, copy, recover and/or reproduce these documents should you suddenly lose access to them.

Know what you’ll say to the outside world

In addition to communicating internally, you may need to reach out to the media, clients, customers and vendors. How? Which ones? What core messages will you need to get across after a crisis has disrupted your business?

Constantly review

When creating a checklist for a disaster recovery plan, keep in mind that the information you include is likely to become outdated in just a few months. Your plan should outline a timeline for how often it’s updated and by whom.

Next steps

 We don’t claim to be Disaster Recovery experts, but we hope our industry recognised advice can help you start creating your own DRP, many templates are available online which could help further.

What we can help with is providing innovative technology to help with conducting business as usual during the new business normal.

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