9 Crucial Steps Toward Effective Disaster Recovery - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // Security & Risk Strategy
News
9/14/2016
07:06 AM

9 Crucial Steps Toward Effective Disaster Recovery

A strong disaster recovery plan is key to keeping your business going in the face of a very bad, no good, horrible day. Here are nine steps IT pros should not skip in their planning and preparation for the worst.
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Know Why You Have A Plan

This is one of those deceptively simple points. You might think that it's obvious why you would want a disaster preparedness plan, but let's start with a basic question: Is your IT disaster plan a stand-alone document, or is it part of a broader business continuity plan? That's the first and most important fork in the road you'll find when you start asking 'why.'

The reason a question like this matters is that it gets to issues like who will be in control of disaster response, how many employees are involved, and (perhaps most important) whether the goal of the plan is to help quickly pick up the pieces following a disaster, or keep operating seamlessly through the disaster. Those are two very different scenarios, and everyone involved in the plan should be clear about the goal before you have to push the big red 'emergency' button in the control center.

Among other things, there can be a huge gulf in the costs between response and continuity. In a business continuity plan that includes IT, permissible response time to catastrophic events might be measured in seconds (or fractions of a second), while response time in disaster recovery might be measured in hours or even days. Ask why you're creating the plan, how big the plan is, and who's involved. The answers will inform pretty much every aspect of your plan.

(Image: Olivier Le Moal/iStockphoto)

Know Why You Have A Plan

This is one of those deceptively simple points. You might think that it's obvious why you would want a disaster preparedness plan, but let's start with a basic question: Is your IT disaster plan a stand-alone document, or is it part of a broader business continuity plan? That's the first and most important fork in the road you'll find when you start asking "why."

The reason a question like this matters is that it gets to issues like who will be in control of disaster response, how many employees are involved, and (perhaps most important) whether the goal of the plan is to help quickly pick up the pieces following a disaster, or keep operating seamlessly through the disaster. Those are two very different scenarios, and everyone involved in the plan should be clear about the goal before you have to push the big red "emergency" button in the control center.

Among other things, there can be a huge gulf in the costs between response and continuity. In a business continuity plan that includes IT, permissible response time to catastrophic events might be measured in seconds (or fractions of a second), while response time in disaster recovery might be measured in hours or even days. Ask why you're creating the plan, how big the plan is, and who's involved. The answers will inform pretty much every aspect of your plan.

(Image: Olivier Le Moal/iStockphoto)

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