At the Core
13 October 15

Drawing Up A Plan: 5 Steps For Effective Disaster Recovery Planning

In 2015, businesses in all sectors and of all sizes have oriented their daily operations to center around data, and lots of it. Whether it's a financial organization managing people's money, or a health care firm that looks after their vital medical information, companies have grown accustomed to saving large volumes of data – and often in the cloud, as this helps them maintain access to it at all times.

"Organizational IT leaders have come to realize that business continuity is essential."

As a result of this ongoing evolution, organizational IT leaders have come to realize that business continuity is essential. They can't lose access to their cloud files – not even for a minute. Imagine if you needed to retrieve medical data about a patient on the spot, and finding it within minutes could make the difference between life and death. Obviously, periods of network downtime are unacceptable.

For this reason, companies these days are focused heavily on continuity – and also on disaster recovery planning. According to CSO Online, there's a difference between the two. Derek Slater, content director at marketing agency Ready State, laid it out – essentially, continuity is an ongoing priority, whereas DR specifically means responding to a large-scale catastrophe.

"Disaster recovery is the process by which you resume business after a disruptive event," Slater explained. "The event might be something huge – like an earthquake or the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center – or something small, like malfunctioning software caused by a computer virus."

Slater also conceded that among many IT leaders, it's simply human nature to be lax about disaster recovery. We tend to look on the bright side and think disaster can't happen to us – but the reality is it can. That's why it makes sense to explore cloud backup solutions that can help your organization manage its data better and recover quickly from any catastrophic incident that may come your way.

Here's a step-by-step process for making that happen:

Develop detailed contingency plans
Your company should have a detailed plan ready in advance for any disaster. How will you respond, and who will grab the reins? Don't wait until a threat hits – have a plan ready to go beforehand.

Keep employees well-trained
Being ready for disaster recovery requires training your employees on how to do their part. Everyone should have a role, from the CEO to the lowest of the low-level employees.

Detailed training must go into your company's preparations for DR.Detailed training must go into your company's preparations for DR.

Maintain constant communication
Getting through a tech catastrophe requires solid communication between your company's C-suite, the IT leadership and any outside partners, such as a cloud DR provider. Make sure the lines of communication are open, even if your phone and/or Internet are down. Have backup options ready.

Testing, testing, testing
To be sure your DR strategy will work, you've got to test it frequently. Measure your progress with each DR "fire drill," and aim for greater efficiency with each one.

Invest in the right technology
Finally – it helps to invest in top-flite technology that will help your company get through any DR situation unscathed. With DR in the cloud, for example, you can rest assured that your data will be safe and easy to retrieve at a moment's notice.

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