Disaster Recovery (DR) is essential in today’s world, but it often takes a back seat to other business priorities. Business continuity (BCP) in the event of a disaster is often overlooked entirely. Bringing systems back online quickly (DR) and having a plan for how to continue to operate in the event of a failure in systems, availability of people, or facility integrity (BCP) are crucial to mitigating enterprise risk, including financial risk. We take a holistic approach to planning and documenting DR and BCP, rather than solve for specific types of disasters, we plan for classes of events, which means incident response to these events is the same for a snowstorm that prevents your employees from reporting to work as it is for a terrorist attack downtown.
Planning for Disasters
Preparing for an event means understanding the risks your organization is exposed to, and what are your critical people, processes and technology. Determining the types of events you can prepare for, and how resilient your infrastructure is when those events occur, is a critical first step. Our experienced staff will walk your organization through a detailed risk assessment, start with determining what kind of events are likely to impact your business. Can you quantify how much a disaster will cost your business? From Nor’easter weather events preventing staff from making it to work, to power outages that disable your systems, to Active Shooting events or regional health emergencies that may impact both your staff and your facility availability, rather than focus on a specific threat, we can help abstract those into classes of events, and this crucial first step will guide your readiness through the remaining phases.
Determining the state of readiness of your systems, facilities and staff for an event. Do you have backup systems, hot site facilities for staff, and a communications capability to notify staff? Who in the organization should be able to declare a disaster, and who talks to the media if necessary? Disaster response involves key stakeholders and individual contributors to create appropriate plans and prepare to implement redundant systems? How does your disaster recovery plan fit into your broader business continuity plan? What gaps need filled?
Planning leads the way to execution. We provide experienced project management capability that allows your organization to quickly implement your newly created plan, or fill the gaps identified in your existing plans.
How do you know if your plan will work? We recommend a combination of simulation and testing to “shake the bugs out” of your Disaster Recovery plan. From “sand table” exercises, to simulated outages, to full DR failover execution, our experience will help further refine your plans and identify outliers, providing a roadmap for further enhancements to the plans.
No plan is complete without thorough documentation, and a mechanism for continuous updates. DR and BCP are living documents and ongoing processes, not “do once and forget about it” items on a checklist. Clear, concise documentation that is easy to follow for new staff as well as veterans is a key artifact of the process and critical for all involved parties.