More often than not, the cause of Business Continuity failure can be pinpointed down to two elements.
We speak from experience when we say that a well thought out Business Continuity plan should be at the heart of every organisation, but unfortunately, the majority of failed recovery plans are down to a lack of preparation. The second major problem that we’ve witnessed is businesses putting these practices in place and failing to regularly update and test these plans.
In light of this, we’ve compiled a short list to highlight what you should NOT do with Disaster Recovery.
Not documenting your Business Continuity strategy
So you have a Disaster Recovery plan in place, but where is it? Have you documented the process? Is it detailed? Is it clear? Who has access to it?
41% of businesses were confident they had a Business Continuity plan in place – virtualDCS independent Survey, May 2017.
Businesses often fail to have a written continuity plan and simply rely on key staff to memorise and complete the restoration should an incident occur. What happens when they leave the business? How is the knowledge retained within the organisation?
The document containing the recovery strategy should also be clear, concise and unified. When a disaster occurs, the last thing a business requires is a team with crossed wires and conflicting plans.
Not testing your strategies
This sounds like an obvious thing to do, but recent studies have shown that over half of businesses were unsure what testing strategies they used or even if Business Continuity plans have been tested at all.
If an IT incident was to occur, 28% of companies don’t know if they’d be able to restore their information – virtualDCS independent Survey, May 2017.
If you have a plan in place that’s a great start, but there are many reasons that you should be regularly testing and invoking your strategy.
Your systems may have been altered since the last test, documents may not be up to date and key members of staff may need to be given new training. You also want to avoid employees having to spend time studying the documents during a disaster while your business is suffering an outage.
Until you test your Disaster Recovery plan, you won’t know what IT gremlins may be lurking. You should schedule an adequate amount of time to test your recovery strategies, ensuring that when it matters the most, you can restore your systems as quickly as possible.
Planning for one incident and only one incident
From viruses to user error and power outages, there are a variety of incidents that could require evocation, it’s not always the ‘major’ and obvious incidents such as fires, floods or total infrastructure failures you should plan for.
13% of businesses surveyed knew they wouldn’t be able to recover all of their data after an incident – virtualDCS independent Survey, May 2017.
As an IT Manager or Managing Director, you need to plan for all events that could happen within your business, no matter how unlikely it may seem. Best practice recommends that a comprehensive Business Continuity solution should cover everything from data centre failovers to restarting local applications.
Putting these simple practices in place can help your business recover faster from a disaster, so if you’d like any advice on protecting your business please contact the team.