8 Tips for Successful Disaster Recovery Planning
In terms of specifics, disaster recovery planning can contain many different elements, chosen based on the needs of the company involved. That’s why when we meet with our clients to discuss disaster recovery, we take the time to fully understand their business and specific recovery needs. However, over the years we’ve found that there are a few common considerations necessary to develop and implement any successful DR strategy.
- It is important to secure the buy-in of top management at your company. This helps guarantee a couple of things. It ensures that everyone is on board and that they will communicate the message as a top priority. This can also help secure adequate funding and participation in the planning process.
- Start with conducting a business impact analysis. This takes into account all aspects of the company’s recovery needs, not just those of the IT department. This will ensure that you plan and build what the business needs for recovery, as well as when and how they need it. IT’s view of what’s important may not equate with the requirements of the business as a whole, in terms of things like timing or scope.
- Write the DR plan with the end state in mind. In other words, define what the DR environment will be on day one of a failover. This may sound obvious but it is not always done. If you work with the business to frame the project this way it will yield actionable results.
- Communication is always a key. Involving a broad audience within the company helps with buy-in and helps ensure success. Communicate what’s being planned for disaster recovery every step of the way and make sure that all interested parties have a voice in the plan’s development.
- Build testing into the DR strategy. Everyone should agree on the importance of annual testing and evaluation with follow-up consideration for necessary adjustments and improvements.
- Don’t forget your passwords! That is, don’t forget to include vital passwords in the DR plan itself. Many disaster recovery tests and real life events have struggled due to the inability to secure appropriate passwords.
- Don’t make it overly complex. Too much complexity can be a problem when disaster strikes.
- Identify clear roles and responsibilities for disaster recovery. Establish who does what and when. Set-up necessary command, control and communication guidelines so that everyone is ready should disaster strike.
Of course this is not a list of everything that goes into disaster recovery planning, but it does represent the kind of comprehensive approach the Cavan Group takes with all our clients. The bottom line… a successful disaster recovery always starts with a well-considered DR plan, and the elements in this list can help your company achieve that result.