Prepare for your next cloud disaster with our IT disaster recovery plan checklist.
Why You Need An IT Disaster Recovery Plan Checklist
Computers and their networks have ushered us into a whole new way of going about our lives. It is impossible to imagine a modern business operating without an IT infrastructure. Servers, software applications, databases, networks and countless other aspects of IT are central to organizations. This dependence exposes businesses to disruptions and disasters due to their failure.
IT Disaster Recovery in the UAE includes plans and processes to recover from an IT disruption. However, despite the high standards of IT Disaster Recovery in the UAE, it is always a good idea an IT disaster recovery plan checklist in place to address such disruptions.
Use the following 10-point checklist to have a robust Disaster Recovery plan in place:
1. Design an effective and detailed IT disaster recovery plan checklist:
Preparing a plan for its widespread disruption can seem daunting. One sensible approach is identifying the highest priorities. These priorities are then added sequentially as the infrastructure and technologies evolve. The response need detailed planning with parameters and metrics defined. You should also consider a wide range of possible disruptions.
For an effective response, align every resource towards the goal of recovery. One of the keys to this is effective communication that includes redundancies and protocols which allow the organization to combat the crisis with the best possible efficiency. It is important that each stakeholder is aware of their role within the response. There also needs to be a process in place that allows for effective coordination.
3. An effective inventory process:
IT infrastructure includes numerous elements – both physical and software based. For an organization to address such a situation, map out various elements and their interdependence in advance. An effective and ongoing inventory process allows the business to keeps businesses prepared. They can anticipate, prepare and plan, as well as be able to delegate responsibility in the event of a disaster.
4. Detailed and ongoing testing of the plan:
It’s critical that an IT Disaster Recovery plan is subject to constant testing. This is best done in a controlled environment. Disasters occur in unforeseen ways. However, you can test components and elements within an IT environment to provide a measurable outcome.
5. Defining the organization’s scope for sub-optimal performance:
It is almost counterintuitive for a modern organization to focus too much on the lowest level of performance it can tolerate. However, the nature of IT disasters makes it important that an organization identifies the least possible performance it requires of the various IT-dependent functions and departments within it. Setting a lowest acceptable benchmark and testing processes at that minimum allows organizations to prepare for minimizing the negative effects of an IT disruption.
6. Assign roles for employees:
Empowering employees with clearly defined roles and responses should form a very important part of the organization’s Disaster Recovery plan. It is important that employees are aware of clearly defined tasks to take ownership of, in the case of an IT disaster.
7. Ensure that your SLAs have clearly defined terms for Disaster Recovery:
Several businesses have outsourced a lot of their IT functions and infrastructure or are taking advantage of Co-location Data Centre services. It is important that the SLAs with such external entities are comprehensive and binding, with well-conceived outcomes and responsibilities.
8. Processes in place to handle sensitive data:
An important factor in limiting the damage due to an IT disaster and maintaining the functional capacity of an organization, is having processes in place to handle sensitive data. A clearly defined set of processes should be in place to define how to access information and maintain its integrity.
9. A recovery site:
If possible, it is a great idea to have a pre-appointed recovery site where employees can gather if the disaster has affected their workspace catastrophically. An organization should have facilities in place that allow it to revive its basic operations after a disaster. Some Service Providers like EHDF offers Disaster Recovery/ Business Continuity Seats, allowing a business to seamlessly continue operations when access to their usual workplace is interrupted. These seats are either shared or dedicated and offer connectivity, 24/7 Service Desk, telephone lines, etc.
10. Regular updating of Disaster Recovery plan:
A Disaster Recovery plan should remain current and consider changes in technology, business operations and the evolution of threats. An effective plan is one that proactively considers changing parameters and possibilities, as they emerge.
While not every aspect of a disaster can be anticipated, it is important that a business organizes its response to an IT disaster with as specific a recovery plan as possible. This plan must be scrutinized and tested on an ongoing basis and all employees must be made aware of their roles and responsibilities if a disaster strikes.