4 Key Mistakes in Disaster Recovery Planning to Avoid

4 Key Mistakes in Disaster Recovery Planning to Avoid

4 Mistakes in Disaster Recovery Planning to Avoid

Disaster Recovery Planning: Unscheduled downtime is expensive, not just because things like repairs can cost a lot of money, but also because every minute of downtime can result in lost business and reduced employee productivity. While it might sound grim, disaster recovery (DR) is all about preparing for the worst and mitigating unexpected events such as natural catastrophes, hardware failures, data breaches and even human error.

#1. Failing to plan

According to FEMA, 40% of businesses never reopen after a natural disaster. Lesser disasters may not have such devastating consequences, but their effects can persist for many years nonetheless. You owe it to the future of your business to make sure that doesn’t happen since no matter how careful you are, every business is a target for data breaches, and natural disasters don’t exactly discriminate.

Every DR strategy should start with a plan, including details about every facet of your business’s operational infrastructure, your plan serves to prioritize systems, assess the risks facing your business, define employee roles, and provide a workable and tested strategy for getting back up and running as soon as possible with minimal damage.

#2. Confusing backup with DR

When people think about disaster recovery, backup is often the first thing that comes to mind. However, while backing up your data is obviously one of the most important steps in any DR plan, it’s only a part of the wider process. After all, even if you have a recent backup of all your data, this by itself gives little to no indication of how long it will take to get everything back up and running again should the worst happen.

A DR plan should be taken as a complete end-to-end process starting with an audit of your existing infrastructure and business processes and finishing with a recovery process. If you’re planning to partner with a cloud-based DR provider, you’ll want to know how long it will take for each affected system to get back online and how much, if anything, should it cost to recover all your apps and data.

#3. Overlooking staff roles

Many DR plans place most, if not all, of the emphasis, on IT. However, technology is not the only thing you need to worry about — you also need to think about employee roles. After all, it’s your team that will be tasked with getting everything back on track. If your employees don’t know what to do or who to call, your entire plan will fall flat on its face.

Every DR plan should have a section dedicated to communications. Employees will need to know who to call if something goes wrong. Depending on the nature of the disaster, you may also need to inform your customers. This is especially likely to be the case with cyberattacks that successfully compromise confidential data, in which you may be obliged by law to inform the public.

#4. Not updating regularly

An outdated DR plan isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. The modern business environment is more dynamic than ever, not least because technology is changing and evolving all the time. If your plan hasn’t been updated to reflect your current infrastructure, then putting it into motion successfully is going to be practically impossible.

In much the same way as you get an annual vehicle inspection to test the health and safety of your car, so should you ensure that your business technology infrastructure is running optimally. Since disaster can strike at any moment and without warning, your systems and employees need always to be prepared. Every DR plan should be updated at least once per year or after you’ve made any significant changes to your operational processes or IT systems.

Disasters happen and, sooner or later, unexpected downtime will strike. Here at ARK Solvers, it’s our job to help you make sure you’re back up and running in a matter of hours. Call today to schedule your free backup and disaster-recovery assessment.

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