IT Disaster Recovery Plan – Top 5 Tips for Creating an IT Disaster Recovery Plan

IT Disaster Recovery Plan – Top 5 Tips for Creating an IT Disaster Recovery Plan

In this guide our team here at CAB IT Services discuss everything you need to know about IT disaster recovery plans. Find out what IT disaster recovery plans are, why they’re important and our top tips for creating one.

What is an IT Disaster Recovery Plan?

An IT disaster recovery plan is a formal plan that outlines comprehensive instructions and processes to follow should an organisation experience an unplanned IT incident. It describes the approach and step-by-step plan the business needs to follow in order to minimise the ramifications of the disaster and quickly ensure business operations are resumed.

Importance of an IT Disaster Recovery Plan

IT disaster recovery plans are essential for businesses in all industries. When an unforeseen problem occurs and brings your company’s everyday functions to a halt, it’s absolutely imperative that you recover as soon as possible so that you can continue to provide your services to your clients.

If you don’t have a recovery plan in place to recover from a catastrophe and your IT is down for long periods of time, your business is susceptible to high financial costs and damaged reputation.

Examples of disasters include natural disasters, hardware failures, viruses, user error, data security breaches and ransomware.

IT Disaster Recovery Plan Tips

If you’re looking to produce an IT disaster recovery plan for your business, here we’ve explained our top 5 tips for making sure it is effective and reliable.

Identify Risks

The first thing you need to do when creating a disaster recovery plan is to identify the most serious threats and risks to your IT infrastructure.

You should create a list of all your IT assets – such as servers and storage devices – and detail where they are physically located, any dependencies they have, which network they are on and so forth. From here you can go through each asset and list all the internal and external threats they may face. You should be thorough when completing this, including the worst-case scenario like floods and earthquakes as well as mundane IT issues like hardware failure and power outages.

By identifying these risks, you can implement the appropriate procedures to both reduce the risk and establish the processes needed for recovery.

Prioritise Recovery Objectives

A key part of producing a disaster recovery plan is to prioritise the order in which processes need to be completed. It is crucial that you have ranked which services/data are critical to restore and which are less important so that you can create a plan that ensures the impact on your business is minimal.

Ask yourself questions like “how much revenue would you lose if your customer portal went down for a day?” and “how would your staff’s productivity be effected if your emails went down?”.

We recommend that you determine your recovery time objective (RTO) for each of your services. Your RTO is the maximum time limit your services can be unavailable for, so for mission-critical services, this isn’t going to be very long. However, you also need to be realistic as you’ll need to factor in time to identify the cause of the disaster as well as how much work will be required to get the service back online.

Establish the Appropriate Recovery Processes, Tools & Techniques

After you’ve identified all of your IT assets and systems and prioritised which ones are most important to recover, you can then look to determine the processes, tools and techniques needed to get them back online.

The solutions you choose will depend on the exact nature of your systems and your RTOs, but there are a wide range of options out there so you’re sure to find the necessary level of protection. It’s vital you get the level of protection right – overprotection can cost you unnecessary money and underprotection can put your business continuity at risk.

Test Your Plan

Once you’ve created your plan, it’s essential that you put it to the test. There’s more than likely to be a few hiccups and issues that you might not have considered, so by practicing your plan you can rectify any unexpected problems, make modifications and ensure nothing gets overlooked.

Consult an IT Professional

The process of creating a disaster recovery plan can be extremely complex, which is why you should always consult with an IT professional to assist you. For some businesses, business continuity is something that simply cannot be compromised, which is why it’s pivotal that a dependable and well-founded disaster recovery plan is in place.

If you don’t have a dedicated in-house IT team, it is strongly advised that you acquire the professional services of an IT specialist, like CAB IT Services, to assist you in the creation of a disaster recovery plan. They’ll closely look at your IT assets, systems and available budget and help you to implement the procedures needed to get everything back as quickly as possible should the worst happen.

IT Disaster Recovery with CAB IT Services

If you’re looking to ensure business continuity and want to create an effective IT disaster recovery plan, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of the CAB IT Services team today.

Run from our own servers, BackupSureDR is our fully managed online data backup facility – all data is encrypted and securely sent to our remote data centre in Bristol. In a recovery situation, restore can be performed directly over the internet or our team can physically collect data on disk at the data centre, giving us complete control of your recovery situation.

Find out more about our disaster recovery service >

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