Part of being a great business leader is having a plan in place for every situation imaginable, in fact it’s just smart. Your company could fall victim to natural disaster, technical failure, human error, or fraud. But having a disaster recovery plan in place can save you big time and help your organization avoid detrimental financial consequences.
The need for a current disaster recovery plan spans all industries, as no business is immune, but especially if your company handles customer data.
When it comes to thinking about interruptions or disasters your company may face, it’s best to think “when” not “if”, because every organization faces some sort of hiccup in its time. And if you’re caught unprepared, the consequences range from a damaged business reputation to financial losses, to complete shutdown.
Protect Your Business with a Disaster Recovery Plan
Still not convinced? Here are some solid reasons to get your DRP (disaster recovery plan) sorted today.
- Employ greater security for customers and employees.
- Reduce liability obligations.
- Protect company assets.
- Minimize risk of negative exposure.
- Reduce potential financial losses.
- Provide greater stability.
Apart from these reasons we want to highlight three more. We feel they’re crucial to your business’ success and are worth expanding on.
Your Current Plan is Outdated
So, you may be reading this and thinking “my company has a plan! We’re good to go!” But when was the last time this plan was reviewed, evaluated, and tested?
On average you should be testing your plan quarterly. If you haven’t done so in much longer, it’s time to take a look at it again.
Outages Are More Common Than You Think
Outages are inevitable and are actually on the rise. In fact as of 2014 one in three companies reported disasters. Technology failures, weather conditions, and human error are the top three causes, although most of the blame falls on technology and human error.
You May Be Legally Bound to Have a Plan
Depending on your industry, you may legally be required to have a disaster recovery plan. Laws and regulations, like HIPPA, require many companies to have some form of a disaster plan in place.
Now that you have a clear idea of how your business will benefit from a disaster recovery plan, let’s get into the essential components of a great plan.
Key Elements for a Successful Business Disaster Recovery Plan
Ensure your data, assets, hardware, and reputation are all protected by implementing these five elements into your disaster recovery plan. Following these will help your business bounce back with little to no downtime, should anything ever happen!
1. Communication Plan
Clear communication is essential, and when disaster hits, no matter what form, you never know how people will react. This is why you should assign clear roles and have a solid communication plan in place. Employee contact info should be updated and distributed as well as a direct line of action with clearly assigned tasks for each person involved in the recovery plan.
2. Inventory Hardware and Software
Have information readily available that includes a current inventory of hardware and applications in order of priority with the vendor’s technical support contact information too.
3. Define Your Tolerance for Downtime
Not every business will have the same tolerance; some organizations can survive longer downtime without suffering dire consequences while others simply cannot. Your IT department should be able to assist in defining the tolerance for downtime and data loss. This info should guide your entire plan.
4. Designate a Backup Worksite
Depending on the type of disaster your business encounters, your primary office space may not be accessible. Designate an alternate operational workplace and make sure all employees are aware of this site, how they can access information there, and what constitutes an appropriate event to go there.
5. Regularly Test Your Plan
As we mentioned before, having an outdated plan will do you no good in the event of emergency. If you’re going to put in the time and effort to create a disaster recovery plan, you must also put in the time and effort to regularly test it. Look for areas where it falls short, potential threats you didn’t consider, and then update your plan to match.
Infrequent testing is a fast track way to ensure your plan doesn’t hold up properly in the actual event of a disaster.
Being a business leader means dealing with risk, but we hope this post has shed some light on an important area to protect your company. If you want to learn more about other ways to protect and handle your company’s finances, let’s talk!
Saddock Advisory has been guiding clients for three decades. Get in touch with us today!