How can an effective Disaster Recovery Plan help your business?

A disaster recovery plan incorporates the protection measures taken to reduce the impacts of a disaster so that an organization will be able to preserve or swiftly restart their IT systems.

The companies have an invaluable asset, the wealth of information, supported every day by the experience gained from its own activities. Because of some critical issues and the importance of data that the majority of companies have, they invest in the implementation of techniques and procedures which ensure business continuity and recovery. Loss of data, information, and applications caused by the occurrence of unforeseen events such as a fire, flooding, theft, virus attack, hardware failure, human error could lead to severe disruptions in the organization’s operations, productivity or quality of services. Disasters vary in type and level, they are by nature inevitable but mostly unpredictable. It is in a company’s best interest to define a disaster recovery plan, in order to return to its normal state in case a disaster happens. For organizations, a disaster is an unexpected disruption that affects a part, or all its business operations, which may have a direct impact on a company’s revenue. Additionally, a disaster can have several negative impacts in cause-and-effect scenarios in every business. One of the most important and greatest challenges for business leaders is making sure that their company has already defined the necessary measures to prevent and/or prepare for any possible disaster and safeguard the business. For instance, when an unforeseen event takes place and brings a process to the end, an organization needs to have a rapid recovery plan in order to continue to provide services or products to their customers. In the event of a catastrophe, it is necessary to have a strategic recovery plan in place, which can address various disruptions from data security breaches to natural disasters. The consequences of a disaster vary, ranging from small interruptions to entire business shutdowns which can take days or months to recover and even cause fatal damage to the business.

The Importance of a Disaster Recovery Plan

A disaster recovery plan incorporates the protection measures taken to reduce the impacts of a disaster so that an organization will be able to preserve or swiftly restart its IT systems. In addition, a disaster recovery plan (DRP), entails an analysis of critical business functions and regular needs and also has an important focus on disaster prevention. Disaster recovery refers to the process of preparing for recovery or continuity of critical technology infrastructure of an organization after a natural or manmade disaster occurs. It is about safeguarding an organization from the negative impacts that events such as natural disasters (earthquakes, fire, storms, etc.) and manmade disasters (terrorism, email virus, infrastructure failure, etc.) generate.

Project management is an inseparable part of organizations in today’s fast-changing global economy. Its practices began a century ago, but it became an essential factor of successful organizations only in the past few decades. Managing projects efficiently is crucial for organizations that want to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals and objectives.

According to ISO 21500, “project management is the application of methods, tools, techniques and competencies to a project.” Companies worldwide are becoming more aware of the importance of investing time, money and resources on projects. This attention came as a result of the effective implementation of project management tools and techniques which led to the success of organizations across different sectors.

Nevertheless, we cannot avoid disasters; however, there must be a disaster recovery plan in place, in order to be prepared in the event of a disaster and be able to get back to normal quickly without experiencing damages to vital business functions. On that note, a good disaster recovery plan within an organization can minimize the losses, however; choosing not to have a disaster recovery plan in place can put the organization at risk of significant financial costs, losing its reputation and jeopardizing its customers and stakeholders' trust.

The measures that an organization can take to assure that its critical business functions are protected in the event of a disaster:

  • Protective measures: the purpose is preventing a disaster from happening. For instance,
  • security controls may help decrease the chances of a terrorist attack and in cases of power disruptions on sensitive equipment, power supply units may help.
  • Detective measures: the purpose is noticing some of the disruptive events through the use of observation cameras, fire sensors, and antivirus software etc.
  • Corrective measures: the purpose is the re-establishment of the business procedures, systems, and data recovery after disaster hits.

Disaster recovery is suitable for all types of businesses and industries, regardless of their size. According to the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 90% of businesses that lose data from a disaster are forced to shut down within 2 years of the disaster.

What are the Benefits of a Disaster Recovery Plan?

Bear in mind that, you cannot foresee all crises regardless of whether they are natural or man-made or how they will affect your organization. Therefore, the benefits of developing a disaster recovery plan are clear, when implementing a detailed plan the organization could mitigate threats and ensure its critical data and records are secured through proper measures.

The benefits of having an effective disaster recovery plan within your organization include:

  1. It helps an organization to be prepared in the event of a disaster.
  2. Secures the records and hardware.
  3. Helps to recover the critical data of your organization rapidly and easily.
  4. Provides guidelines about the actions that the organization should take after a disruptive
    event occurs and ensures that the organization continues functioning after the disaster.
  5. Established task redundancy, so that, at least two people can perform any of the tasks,
    keeping the company protected in case of an emergency.
  6. Protects the reputation, and increases the confidence of investors.
  7. Insurance companies will view your business as more promising when an actual disaster
    recovery plan is in place.

To ensure that the IT functions can be restored as quickly as possible in a given situation, there must be defined a clear plan in case of a catastrophe. In such cases, it comes to disaster recovery, as a plan that aims to recover data and restore all vital business processes within the required time, and which fills all the gaps in emergency cases.

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