The Process Of Disaster Recovery Planning In Business Organizations

By Judy Sullivan

Survival and continued operations in any organization largely depends on the level to which the management is aware of potential risks facing the organization and their ability to come up with a plan that is capable of minimizing losses and returning operations to normal level within the shortest time period. Disaster recovery planning is a continuous process that aims at establishing a step by step action plan to be followed before, during and after a tragedy.

It is basically a plan that ensures business continuity is case an organization suffers from an event where all or parts of its resources are destroyed. In the modern organizations, it also covers data records and IT equipment in addition to all other organization resources. Other than minimizing the negative effects of unfavorable event, it also ensures that an organization maintains or quickly resumes its normal operations.

Other benefits of the outcome of this process include the general sense of security, minimal delay risks, the reliability of standby systems is guaranteed, reduced decision making during disasters and provision of a standard of testing. In addition to this, firms with comprehensive and functional disaster recovery plans (DRP) enjoy discounts on insurance premiums.

Every enterprise has a unique plan that may not be suitable for the other business. It depends on many factors from the business type and environment, processes and machinery, level of security measures in place and the level of technology. Although many organizations prefer to prepare their own plans, they can also be bought in software applications. Services of consultants from outside the organizations can also be secured in designing appropriate plan.

A typical DRP involves several stages. It starts from understanding of the interconnections of all organization resources and activities followed by assessment of its vulnerability areas. After getting the insight on how organization can get affected in case of a disaster, a short term plan is developed. This will assist in developing a longer term recovery plan, prioritizing all areas of vulnerability. The planning is continuously tested and updated to respond to changing needs of the business.

The DRP has become a necessity in all industries and is a requirement by law in some firms due to several reasons. Many firms primarily depend on computer networks and electronic systems which are prone to failure. In addition to this, dealing with accidents in a proper manner reduces insurance claims. For this reason, insurance firms normally charger lower premiums for firms with better DRP.

The last steps involve organizing and documenting the whole plan in form of a guide which is the presented to the top management for approval. The process is never complete before testing and evaluated to ensure it is functional. The feasibility and compatibility of facilities set aside for backup facilities. The testing to go through includes checklist, simulation, parallel and the full interruption.

In order to succeed in the disaster recovery planning, the process must start and get support from the top executive level. The proposal must get approval from the board and other chief officers. All levels of employees must also be taken into account and get involved in the planning process. With a well planned, executed and continuously revised, organization has better chances of surviving into the foreseeable future.

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