Every company needs to be prepared for emergencies; however there is an astounding percentage that are not. If some sort of catastrophic event were to happen, would your company be ready? Do you have a disaster recovery plan in place that will get you through? Keep in mind that the term ‘Disaster’ applies to many different types of events. Not only encompassing events brought by mother nature, but also accidental, or deliberate human influence such as fire, flood, a loss of communication or even a virus.
We’ve had several clients who have experienced a disaster of some sort, each with a different result. One client had an unexpected server malfunction without any back up. They ended up losing a lot of data and were forced to spend a large amount of time and money in order to recover. Another experienced a flood in their main office, though luckily they had a Disaster Recovery Plan in place and were able to recover quickly and at a much lower cost.
In order to ensure total preparedness, there are two important key plans you should consider. The first is a Business Continuity Plan (BCP), and the second a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP). While the two have many things in common, the main differentiator is that a DRP focuses on recovery whereas a BCP allows for continued business until recovery is accomplished.
“Working with PostiveVision has been a great experience. Recently we needed to integrate our data into our accounting program however we found ourselves with corrupted data. We contact PositiveVision and they went to work on our system, restoring all of our data and helping tremendously with this process. The PositiveVision team has a depth of experience and knowledge with our accounting software and genuinely understands what it takes to operate a manufacturing operation. This knowledge is a huge benefit to us when it comes to getting our business processes streamlined and efficient. I would recommend PositiveVision to anyone.”
William C. Croft, President, The Winston Group
There are several steps to take in order to build your BCP and DRP plans.
Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
- External contacts & contact information
- Key personnel, equipment & data
- Critical documents & information
- Contingency equipment options & possible alternate locations
- Create step-by-step instructions, indicating who is responsible for what and put it into multiple reference binders
- Hold training classes and communicate with your staff regularly regarding the plan
- Review, Practice and Revise, and don’t forget to build in some flexibility for the unexpected.
Test, Test, Test
- Run practice tests to ensure that it will be smooth in the event of a disaster. You don’t want the first time you use the plan to be during a critical situation.
Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)
Create a Plan
- Do a risk analysis to identify your strengths and weaknesses
- Create steps: example: Identify who is responsible; what needs to be recovered first; and any necessary procedures
- Identify potential costs & create a budget.
- Ensure the plan is logical and easy to follow
- Update the plan (or at least look at it), once a year to ensure it still makes sense
Have back up
- Consistently back up all critical data and information – this will make recovery easier
Test, Test, Test
- Regularly test recovery systems.
At some point you will need to perform a component-level restoration of your largest databases to measure the capabilities of your DRP. However, periodic walk-throughs with the recovery team will assure that everyone knows their roles and responsibilities.
Your peace of mind and the future of your company is of the utmost importance. If you’d like more information in regards to how you can create and implement a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan, please give us a call. We’d be happy to help.