Businesses and organizations depend on information to survive and to ensure business continuity. However, in I.T. protecting information from an ever-growing array of potential disasters is an ongoing challenge. It’s not enough to simply have a backup of your data – there are some critical steps that should be taken to effectively prepare your organization for when that disaster happens. Below are four practical and important areas to address when putting together a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plan.
#1. Identify systems and their impact. Cataloguing the various applications, systems and processes in your organization, along with the people involved, is critically important. What is mission critical to the organization? How much downtime can your company afford in each of these areas? These and other similar questions must be answered to have a clear understanding of prioritization and resources needed.
#2. Assign a team for BCDR. Each major department in an organization should have a stakeholder involved in BCDR planning, with one person (or small group) ultimately responsible for developing, communicating and maintaining the plan. Not only is this useful to effectively ensure a comprehensive BCDR plan, but it helps with communicating the plan to the entire company.
#3. Ensure redundancy for mission-critical information and systems. This is not an area to shrink the budget – in fact, there should be a comprehensive plan to address worst-case scenarios. This may include more than one BCDR vendor and solution to avoid having all the eggs in one basket. Question assumptions and be sure as many scenarios as possible are considered when planning for your most important systems and data.
#4. Maintain and evaluate your BCDR plan. A BCDR plan will quickly become outdated or forgotten if it isn’t evaluated, updated and communicated on a periodic basis. The person or group responsible for the BCDR should review the plan at least quarterly and send out reminders to key staff involved.
If your company or organization is looking for assistance or guidance with putting a BCDR plan together, or evaluating an existing plan, please let us know.