What you need to know about a Disaster Recovery Plan

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Creating a disaster recovery plan for your business is challenging and oftentimes avoided.

We help make it a little easier by giving you the information you need to make informed decisions about your Business Continuity Disaster Recovery Plan.

Our previous article about data back-up and recovery mentioned the importance of having a Business Continuity Disaster Recovery Plan for your business. Unfortunately, if your business should have a catastrophic event, getting back up and running quickly is essential to your survival. 

What is a Business Continuity Disaster Recovery Plan?

A Business Continuity Disaster Recovery Plan outlines the processes to execute when a catastrophic event such as hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, fires, and floods impact your business. But other disasters can include cyber versions like ransomware, cyber-attacks, server, and hard drive failure — you name it

Pandemics are catastrophic events. Does your company have enough laptops or remote terminals for your employees to work from home? When COVID-19 became significant in the US, only 12% of businesses had a disaster recovery plan to mitigate the impact of drastically changing how they do business.  The goal is to minimize the amount of time your company is not operational. Sounds easy, right? That’s when enlisting the help of a managed IT company like Bit Perfection can help draft a plan that is realistic for your business.

Here are some important things to consider when creating your continuity disaster recovery plan.

How much time can your company afford (realistically) to be offline?

Regardless of how robust your Recovery Plan is, your company will temporarily be offline in a catastrophic scenario. For a construction company, construction continues while replacing computers. And the amount of downtime isn’t as critical as an online storefront or cyber-based business. Understanding what your offline tolerances are is essential to crafting your Business Continuity Disaster Recovery Plan. 

Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO)

Recovery Point Objective (RPO)

The Recovery Point Objective (RPO) defines the time between the failure and the last backup. The information collected during this time is usually lost. As a business owner, what is your business’ tolerance for lost data? If you are a construction company or small business owner with no online store, losing 24 hours of data might be okay. But if you are an e-commerce business, an hour or two may equal thousands of dollars in lost revenue. 

Recovery Time Objective (RTO)

Recovery Time Objective identifies the length of time your company can remain offline before causing significant damage.

Like the Recovery Point Objective, Recovery Time Objective defines your tolerance for how long your company can be down before significant damage is done to your business. In the case of a business that doesn’t rely on e-commerce or data on a moment-to-moment basis, you could probably tolerate up to a day offline. However, if every minute your business isn’t online, you are losing revenue, you may have a much shorter tolerance period. 

Your company’s Recovery Point and Recovery Time Objectives will determine the backup frequency, type, and storage solutions. Since these protection processes can become quite costly, it’s important to understand your tolerances and choose a solution that best suits your RPO and RTO and, more importantly, your budget.

With years of experience in Business Continuity Disaster Recovery planning, Bit Perfection can ask the pertinent questions and help define your RPO and RTO thresholds. 

Human Resources and Disaster Recovery

Who are your critical staff including backups, skill sets, primary and secondary contacts?

Knowing who to call during a catastrophe is critical in your business recovery strategy. Imagine standing in front of your burning business and not knowing who to call next. Who has copies of your Business Continuity Disaster Recovery Strategy? What are the roles and responsibilities of these key employees?

Budget and Disaster Recovery

How much should you invest in your Business Continuity Disaster Recovery Plan?

This is a difficult question to answer because only you can decide what you want to spend on protection. I look at a Business Continuity Disaster Recovery Plan as an insurance policy for your company’s IT and data. Here are some questions to consider when determining how much you want to invest in your BCDRP.

  1. How much revenue could be lost each day if your business is offline?
  2. What is the value of a customer? 
  3. What’s the total amount spent on employee wages each day?
  4. Does your business insurance cover BCDR?
  5. What would it cost to replace your current IT configuration, such as computers, servers, software, etc.?
  6. Do you have in-house talent that can restore your systems?

Hardware and Software Plan and Disaster Recovery

Knowing what licenses you have is just good business. Your managed IT provider, like Bit Perfection, can maintain this for you. Depending on your backup protocol, you may decide to create ‘images’ (operating system, software, and settings along with the data) of your computers and servers. Having images cuts the recovery time in half— if not by more, by saving the process of installing new software on a computer. 

Software is another subject. 

Knowing what licenses you have is just good business. Your managed IT provider, like Bit Perfection, can maintain this for you. Depending on how you want to configure your back up protocol, ‘images’ of your computer can be stored. Images include the entire operating system, software, and settings along with the data on the device. It can cut the recovery time in half— if not by more, by saving the process of installing new software on a computer. 

So, here’s where we come in and help.

Let Bit Perfection do a business-wide audit and create a Business Continuity Disaster Recovery Plan for you today. In catastrophic situations, being prepared is the difference between success and failure. Contact Caden at 505.599.2444 to talk about your recovery plan today.