What is Disaster Recovery?
Delivering quality products or services successfully within a certain timeframe is the foundation of any good business model. Today’s fiercely competitive business environment requires organizations to respond to clients’ ever-growing demands without a delay to protect their competitive edge, safeguard their brand reputation, and retain their loyalty to their customers despite unforeseen circumstances that can cause delays.
In general, disaster recovery refers to the process of implementing a plan of action in response to emergencies, such as natural disasters, or cyberattacks. A variety of disaster recovery methods can be part of a disaster recovery plan. Disaster recovery is one aspect of business continuity.
How does disaster recovery work?
Disaster recovery relies upon the replication of data and computer processing in an off-premises location not affected by the disaster. When servers go down because of a natural disaster, equipment failure or cyber-attack, a business needs to recover lost data from a second location where the data is backed up. Ideally, an organization can transfer its computer processing to that remote location as well to continue operations.
5 top elements of an effective disaster recovery plan
Disaster recovery team: This assigned group of specialists will be responsible for creating, implementing, and managing the disaster recovery plan. This plan should define each team member’s role and responsibilities. In the event of a disaster, the recovery team should know how to communicate with each other, employees, vendors, and customers.
Risk evaluation: Assess potential hazards that put your organization at risk. Depending on the type of event, strategize what measures and resources will be needed to resume business. For example, in the event of a cyber-attack, what data protection measures will the recovery team have in place to respond?
Business-critical asset identification: A good disaster recovery plan includes documentation of which systems, applications, data, and other resources are most critical for business continuity, as well as the necessary steps to recover data.
Backups: Determine what needs backup (or to be relocated), who should perform backups, and how backups will be implemented. Include a recovery point objective (RPO) that states the frequency of backups and a recovery time objective (RTO) that defines the maximum amount of downtime allowable after a disaster. These metrics create limits to guide the choice of IT strategy, processes and procedures that make up an organization’s disaster recovery plan. The amount of downtime an organization can handle and how frequently the organization backs up its data will inform the disaster recovery strategy.
Testing and optimization: The recovery team should continually test and update its strategy to address ever-evolving threats and business needs. By continually ensuring that a company is ready to face the worst-case scenarios in disaster situations, it can successfully navigate such challenges. In planning how to respond to a cyber-attack, for example, it’s important that organizations continually test and optimize their security and data protection strategies and have protective measures in place to detect potential security breaches.
The effects of such calamities could adversely affect delivery dates and quality of your products and solutions, thereby losing customer trust and confidence in your business.
Taking steps to provide disaster recovery as a precaution can make a business unit more resilient to setbacks that might otherwise result in significant losses and revenue loss.
It is vital for the success of an organization to devise a comprehensive backup plan that ensures it will meet time-bound commitments regardless of adverse setbacks. Additionally, disaster recovery can assist companies with retention and acquisition of new customers, especially in industries and sectors where there is stiff competition among vendors.