When disaster strikes your business, it’s easy to panic. With nearly all business owners forced to face that panic when stay at home orders were mandated across the country at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of a disaster recovery plan has skyrocketed.
If that feeling of panic wasn’t enough, let the fact that recent research on digital infrastructure failure rates finding that over 60% of outages cost at least $100,000 in total losses push your business to create a well-constructed IT disaster recovery plan. 
The right disaster recovery plan can help your business avoid costly downtime from a wide array of disasters—fire, flood, virus, server crash, power or internet outage, and an issue that causes employees to work remotely.
Join us to learn about the seven essential elements of a disaster recovery plan that ensures a disaster no longer causes disruption and downtime for your business.
Before the real planning can begin, you must establish a disaster recovery team that will be responsible for creating, enacting, and regularly reviewing the plan.
Once the team is assembled, your plan should include information about each team member including their responsibilities and contact information. The plan should also define who should be contacted in the event that disaster strikes.
If any employees beyond this team will have responsibilities should disaster strike, be sure to define their roles and inform them of those duties once the plan is finalized. You should also provide any training necessary for them to fulfill their defined role if an emergency occurs.
If your business works with a managed IT services partner, they should play a major part in your disaster recovery team as professionals in the field.
After the team is established, they should begin taking inventory of critical assets to identify which ones need to be prioritized for protection during the event of a disaster. These assets may include items such as network equipment, hardware and software, cloud services, and critical data.
Although a tedious task, this inventory is essential to gaining a complete understanding of your business’s core processes and systems. It will also provide the opportunity to determine which are critical to business operations and allow your plan to focus on short-term survivability at the start rather than the long-term solution of restoring your business’s full capacity.
Every disaster recovery plan should be tailored to cater to the specific threats posed to your business. Your team needs to identify and assess all the potential risks to your business from natural disasters to cyber attacks.
Once each risk is identified, your plan can be constructed to include recovery strategies for each type of disaster based on the probability and potential scale of destruction of each one.
For example, businesses in Central Florida need a disaster recovery plan for the threat posed by hurricanes, while businesses in Southeast Michigan have to consider the threat posed by snow storms in their disaster recovery plans.
After inventory has been completed and risks have been evaluated, it’s time for your team to define plan goals based on recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO).
RTO is the amount of time your business can handle assets being down before recovery, while RPO is the amount of data your business can handle losing before recovery.
To successfully define RTO and RPO, your plan should consider the impact of downtime for time periods ranging from an hour to a whole day or even longer. Defining these objectives will also help your company determine how often data needs to be backed up.
The next critical component in constructing your plan is selecting a disaster recovery setup that defines your type of data storage solution, how many backups you’ll have, how backups will be maintained, where backups will be located, and how frequently backups will occur.
Once your setup is selected, your team will need to identify the service providers needed to help you achieve this setup if it’s beyond the scope of your existing backup solutions.
A disaster recovery plan should be viewed as a living, breathing document that’s regularly updated and refined to ensure your business is prepared for any disaster, at any time.
Most IT experts recommend reviewing your disaster recovery plan every six months to ensure it’s still effective despite changes in your team and IT setup. It may be best if your team sets up a recurring meeting to ensure the review is conducted in a timely manner and nothing slips through the cracks.
Although large companies may have internal IT departments that can independently construct a disaster recovery plan, it’s best for small and mid-size businesses to work with a trusted managed IT service partner that offers disaster recovery services to create a reliable plan.
Depending on your business and its unique needs, the level of participation from your IT partner could range. They can review and make recommendations for the disaster recovery plan that your team creates, or get to know your business and its needs and independently design a plan in its entirety for your business.
At NeverBlue IT, we’re proud to partner with businesses of all sizes in Southeast Michigan and Central Florida to create an IT disaster recovery plan that keeps your business up and running no matter what the future holds.
Don’t wait until disaster strikes to protect your business!
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.