To the Point:
Real disaster recovery means:
1) Disasters come in various forms, so have an exigence plan for each.
2) Familiarize all your staff on each plan, and its associated timeline for recovery.
3) Internal Communications Plan (with Staff)
4) External Communications Plan (with Customers)
5) You can rebuild and recover, with minimal to no data loss.
6) Your IT staff knows exactly what to do, when and in what order.
7) Continuous testing to ensure all components and systems work as expected.
8) Have a minimal IT service management discipline that asks how we can recover, is this recoverable, what was changed, and when. In short, Change Management Logs.
Face it, disasters really suck! Worse, is facing a disaster scenario, without a master plan! Disaster recovery is more than, backups, antivirus, and intrusion detection software to name a few. These are tools to help prevent or mitigate.
Having a saw, nails, hammer and concrete, does not mean you have a house. That house needs a plan to be built. Unless you’re building in the wild, that plan needs to be built to pass municipal code, and its inspections.
Just because you have a few tools, do not be lured into a false sense of DR security. If you have NEVER recovered from any type of disaster, then how do you know how to write an effective plan? Disaster recovery has so many moving parts, it’s hard to know exactly what was missed, till it’s too late.
Owners, executives, and VP’s, this is especially for you… Past all the geeky propeller head talk and work, your ACTIVE role is CRITICAL to your company’s success! This is not something you simply ask for in a meeting with IT, then pawn it off, thinking all is ok because you asked for it. Rather you must LEAD and provide the KEY parameters of acceptability for your organization! You also must determine and provide a financial budget. How much are you willing to loose due to the outage and how much can you spend to mitigate it? In other words, “How far do you want to go?“.
Stay with me executives… Your Disaster Recovery options are an endless pit of options. The potential for run-away costs, could easily bankrupt your company if you’re not a fortune xxx. You must determine your cohort between an acceptable loss, and realistic ROI, while avoiding excessive spending! This is why IT can and should not, do this alone. It is simply too much responsiability! If you have a board, explain the reasons for your justifications. Minimally, if you’re a SMB’s, then just to yourselves!
Together, executive management and IT must work as a single unit in times of disaster. Unification, and having all expectations and cards on the table, pre-communicated is KEY. Figuring this all out on-the-fly, is a disaster inside of the actual disaster, and executives should not just blame it 100% on IT, or your Managed Service Provider (MSP). Have these conversations EARLY with your team and staff, ideally, before a disaster.
Need help? Bring in a third party like Decision Forward to help guide the conversations and Decisions Forward (HA! See what I did there 😉). Minimally, revisit the above 8 bullets, and use this as your conversation launching point.
“IN THE STILLNESS OF SIMPLICITY, IS OBJECTIVE CLARITY”
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