What is the point in a disaster recovery plan?

What is the point in a disaster recovery plan?

Every business is at risk of experiencing a serious accident whether it be a fire or flood meaning normal operations come to a standstill.  A fire or flood can cause major disruptions to computer systems leading to loss of vital information.

The management of all organisations have the responsibility to get things running after any accidents in the minimum time possible, while also causing as little disruption as possible.  This is achieved through the use of a disaster recovery plan.

The most common steps in disaster recovery are detailed below:

The Starting Point

It is vital to take the steps to build a disaster recovery plan because the risk of a major disaster happening is unknown but it very much possible.  it is the directors responsibility to develop and take maintenance of the plan and to understand the seriousness of it.  If directors are not serious about this plan, it is pointless having one.

Impact Assessment

The first task to be undertaken is to make a list of all potential serious accidents that could happen, the risk involved and the impact each incident would have on the organisation if was to happen.  The list needs to include all potential incidents regardless of how small the likelihood is.

Developing the Plan

The structure of the plan needs to be developed once all potential risks have been considered.  There should be a number of milestones once a disaster hits in order to recover quickly and safely with limited costs involved.  The first milestone will be dealing with the immediate aftermath and ensuring everyone is safe and all those involved are trained.  The plan will also identify individuals and there specific responsibilities.  These individuals should be aware of the plan and be fully trained and prepared.

Testing the Plan

Once the plan has been developed it must be tested to ensure it works for the purpose it is set out.  This plan should been tested a couple of times a year to ensure nothing within the plan has changed whether that be through internal changes or external influences.  The plan needs to be tested by all involved within the plan and if personnel change, the plan needs to reflect this.

Train Relevant Employees

As previously mentioned it is vital that all personnel that are involved in the plan are trained on a regular basis for all potential risks within the plan.  It is a good idea to obtain feedback from those involved to ensure all requirements are fully understand.    All employees need to take this plan seriously and not see it as another corporate exercise that they have to do.

Maintaining the Plan

The plan needs to be kept up to date and applicable to the business and its objectives.  Any changes in circumstances need to be documented.  In other words the plan needs to be revised for changes in processes or personnel.  It is important to assign the task to one individual to ensure the plan is kept up to date and any changes are communicated.

About the Author

Mark Jefferson
Mark Jefferson is a seasoned commercial finance professional with over 25 years’ experience in financial services, much of that spent providing funding to SMEs. Mark has worked with many other firms in a similar situation to yours. Call Mark on 01451 832533 and you can also follow him on Google+

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