No one actually wants their business to be knocked out of commission by a disaster. But in many cases, it’s inevitable. There are certain things that are simply beyond the control of even the most intelligent business owner.
Sometimes your hardware fails. Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate. Sometimes your systems end up damaged by an electrical surge.
Regardless of the cause, it’s critical that you have a means of bouncing back from such incidents – and a means of ensuring business continuity during them. That’s where disaster recovery comes in. Done right, it can work wonders for your business’s resilience.
Done wrong, you may as well just sit back and let things run their course. Failure to plan aside, here are some of the biggest mistakes a business can make with disaster recovery. Be sure you don’t make any of them yourself.
Not Considering Your Unique Requirements
At its core, a disaster recovery plan is about the rapid restoration of business functionality after a crisis dies down. Here’s the thing about that, though – every business is unique in that regard. What’s involved in that restoration varies by organization.
For a financial services firm, restoration of their banking software might be at the fore of their efforts. For an industrial plant, they may instead want to focus on their machinery.
Make sure you involve a representative from every department in the DR planning phase – make sure everyone has a voice, so you know exactly what you need to protect when disaster strikes.
Conflating Security Recovery With Disaster Recovery
As mentioned in a previous piece, disaster recovery and security recovery are two very different beasts. You need to make sure you have a separate plan in place for cyber attacks, and another for incidents like fire and inclement weather. Don’t combine the two, as they ultimately have different objectives at their core.
Ignoring The Role Of Your Workers In Recovery
The best plan in the world falls apart immediately if no one knows how to execute it. Make sure everyone knows exactly what their role is in an emergency. When a crisis hits, no employee should be in doubt about what they need to do.
Failing To Formulate A “Plan B”
No plan is perfect – and sometimes, the unexpected happens. Maybe one of your backup sites was destroyed during a storm. Maybe part of your building collapsed due to a terror attack. The most important element of disaster recovery planning is to expect the unexpected.
In other words, don’t just plan for what might happen. Plan for how your workers should respond if things go from bad to worse. The more proactive you are here, the better.
Not Approaching Disaster Recovery As An Ongoing Effort
Let’s say you come up with a disaster recovery plan when you’re still running a small organization with about twenty employees. A few decades later, you’ve got nearly ten thousand. Do you believe the same disaster recovery plan you devised back then will still be applicable now?
Of course not – your business changed and with it your disaster recovery requirements. That’s why you cannot approach DR as a one-time thing. You need to constantly evaluate, test, and re-evaluate your disaster recovery process. Because even if you come up with something that works for you, it can always be better.
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