Are you prepared? Don't overlook these elements of disaster recovery planning
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Are you prepared? Don’t overlook these elements of disaster recovery planning

If a disaster impacted your organization, would you and your IT team be prepared to quickly recover and ensure the continuation of key business processes?

All types of events can fall under the umbrella of a “disaster.” Whether it’s a utility outage, inclement weather, human error or another issue preventing the normal operation of critical IT systems and platforms, the result is often the same: frustrated users unable to complete regular daily tasks due to inaccessible technological solutions.

When downtime like this occurs, it doesn’t just have an effect on the company’s reputation and its users – an instance like this can also be incredibly costly. According to the latest figures from Gartner, network downtime now costs businesses $5,600 for each minute that systems are unavailable, translating to $300,000 per hour.

“Downtime now costs businesses $5,600 for each minute that systems are unavailable.”

For these reasons, having a bulletproof disaster recovery plan in place is absolutely imperative. However, there are certain key missteps that stakeholders commonly make with their plans, which can lead to slow recovery and higher downtime costs.

Environment assessment: Not including all hardware and software systems

As technology expert and president of Arcserve products Oussama El-Hilali told CIO, any disaster recovery plan should begin with “a complete inventory of [hardware and] applications in priority order.” Unfortunately, though, this is where many stakeholders make their first mistake, and may overlook certain pieces of hardware or software systems that aren’t used as frequently within the business.

It’s critical that all systems are considered with disaster recovery planning, even those that may not be utilized on a daily basis. When a disaster hits, IT leaders must be able to restore all hardware and software elements, as a piecemeal recovery could impact users and overall business processes.

In fact, El-Hilali advised that organizations take this a step further, and not only be sure to include all hardware and software components, but to have information on the vendor and customer support contact accessible as well.

Not defining roles and responsibilities ahead of time

Having a plan that encompasses the business’s entire IT infrastructure is key, but it will be difficult to carry out if decision-makers don’t take the time to define the roles and responsibilities of important stakeholders. Disorganization is the enemy of a quick and seamless recovery, and laying out who will lead this charge, as well as the processes that different employees will follow under the plan can prevent extended downtime.

“Having clearly identified roles will garner a universal understanding of what tasks need to be completed and who is [responsible for what],” Will Chin, director of Computer Design & Integration cloud services, told CIO. “All parties need to be aware of each other’s responsibilities in order to ensure that the DR process operates as efficiently as possible.”

Don't overlook these elements of disaster recovery planning

The different tasks each employee is responsible for under the disaster recovery plan must be defined ahead of time.

Not testing the plan

Once the disaster recovery plan has been created and roles and responsibilities have been clearly defined, it’s imperative to implement and test the plan ahead of an actual disaster event. After all, if and when downtime does take place, this is not the time that IT admins want to discover hiccups or obstacles within their plan.

Testing provides the opportunity to address any issues and ensure that any gaps are bridged.

Sometimes, though, bridging this gap requires outside expertise. To find out more about how to support the best disaster recovery within your organization, connect with the experts at Pinnacle about our DR and backup services today.