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Disaster Recovery is the process an organization uses to recover access to their software, data, and/or hardware that are needed to resume the performance of normal, critical business functions after the event of either a natural disaster or a disaster caused by humans. While Disaster Recovery plans, or DRPs, often focus on bridging the gap where data, software, or hardware have been damaged or lost, one cannot forget the vital element of manpower that composes much of any organization.
Disasters, unpredictable by nature, can strike anywhere at anytime with little or no warning. Recovering from one can be stressful, expensive and time consuming, particularly for those who have not taken the time to think ahead and prepare for such possibilities. However, when disaster strikes, those who have prepared and made recovery plans survive with comparatively minimal loss and/or disruption of productivity.
Disasters can take several different forms. Some primarily impact individuals -- e.g., hard drive meltdowns -- while others have a larger, collective impact. Disasters can occur such as power outages, floods, fires, storms, equipment failure, sabotage, terrorism, or even epidemic illness. Each of these can at the very least cause short-term disruptions in normal business operation. But recovering from the impact of many of the aforementioned disasters can take much longer, especially if organizations have not made preparations in advance.
Most of us recognize that these potential problems as possibilities. Unfortunately the randomness of some of these disasters lulls some organizations into a sense of false security-"that's not likely to happen here." However, if proper preparations have been made, the disaster recovery process does not have to be exceedingly stressful. Instead the process can be streamlined, but this facilitation of recovery will only happen where preparations have been made. Organizations that take the time to implement disaster recovery plans ahead of time often ride out catastrophes with minimal or no loss of data, hardware, or business revenue. This in turn allows them to maintain the faith and confidence of their customers and investors.
Disaster Recovery Planning is the factor that makes the critical difference between the organizations that can successfully manage crises with minimal cost and effort and maximum speed, and those that are left picking up the pieces for untold lengths of time and at whatever cost providers decide to charge; organizations forced to make decision out of desperation.
The primary objective of a Disaster Recovery plan (a.k.a. Business Continuity plan) is the description of how an organization has to deal with potential natural or human-induced disasters. The disaster recovery plan steps that every enterprise incorporates as part of business management includes the guidelines and procedures to be undertaken to effectively respond to and recover from disaster recovery scenarios, which adversely impacts information systems and business operations. Plan steps that are well-constructed and implemented will enable organizations to minimize the effects of the disaster and resume mission-critical functions quickly.
Business Continuity or DRP steps involve an extensive analysis of an organization’s business processes, IT infrastructure, data backup, resources, continuity requirements and disaster prevention methods. Secondly, it is the process of creating a comprehensive document encompassing details that will aid businesses in recovering from catastrophic events. Developing a disaster recovery plan differs between enterprises based on business type, processes, the security levels needed, and the organization size. There are various stages involved in developing an effective Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity planning. The key phases and the plan steps are outlined below:
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- Identify your risks
- Help create a Business Continuty Plan
- Implement and Test the plan.