4 Elements of a Successful Disaster Recovery Plan


Today, IT is the cornerstone of successful businesses conducted online. For an IT organization, disaster means disruption of business operations, even for a short period of time. Effects from IT disasters may vary from interruptions lasting a few minutes or hours, loss of data for a particular period, or may result in businesses being shutdown for weeks, or even total closure of business.

The Info Tech Research Group suggests that 60% of online businesses in North America do not have a sound proof IT disaster recovery plan, which becomes a reason for business failure. Faulkner Information Services added that 50% of the businesses that have faced major IT disasters go out of business within 2 years. The US Bureau of Labor adds that 93% of businesses fail within 5 years of their start-up date.

Every IT business should have an effective disaster recovery plan in place. Disaster recovery plans help businesses organize their operations during testing times to ensure they are ready for the real disaster.

Here are 4 powerful elements of a successful disaster recovery plan.

1. Analysis of Possible Disasters, Risk and Threats
The first step of disaster recovery is to analyze possible disasters, risk and threats. Risk analysis involves evaluation of environmental and physical security systems, control systems and assessing their performance when disaster strikes.

Risks can be classified into 5 categories such as:

  • External Risks – Includes natural, human inflicted, supplier and civil risks.
  • Facility Risks – Caused by disruption of local facility such as electricity, fire, water, internet, telephone lines, etc.
  • Data System Risks – Caused by severe or sudden disruption of data communication network, virus attack, failure of data storage systems, bugs, shared servers, etc.
  • Departmental Risks – Immediate risks such as stored items catching fire, missing door key, etc.
  • Desk Level Risks – Risks that happen due to the long absence of the key personnel at work.

2. Create the Disaster Recovery Plan by Classifying the Threats With a Script of Action

Once you have identified potential risks, create a detailed disaster recovery plan on the classification of threats. Document the recovery steps in a simple tone for everyone to quickly understand. Use bullet points to organize the list because no one has time to read paragraphs of data, when the disaster strikes.

3. Create Accurate Communication Channels
Many disaster recovery plans fail due to the lack of communication between employees and authorities. Some organizations are eliminating this issue by incorporating third-party vendor products or developing strong intra-organization communication strategies. Try to create a list of employees, who may come in handy during the disaster recovery. Complete the list with their multiple contact details to ensure they will be on-call.

4. Include a current network diagram of the organization and recovery planning directions.
Create a current network diagram of the organization and write simple and effective recovery planning directions with appropriate infographics when necessary.

For a successful implementation of a disaster recovery plan, keep an updated document. For knowing more about developing a successful recovery development plan, contact Innovative Integration – a market leader in Managed IT services.

About Tony Johnson

Innovative helps you balance your business requirements, service levels, staff and infrastructure to make your IT as effective as possible. Tony Johnson is Vice President of Operations at Innovative and has been helping clients optimize their IT spend and operations since 1983.

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