Rachael Romasanta from Endsleigh on why every organisation needs to consider disaster recovery planning
Disaster. Is it all bad?
With no preparation at all then the answer is a resounding “yes”. But by gritting the teeth and tackling a practical plan to recover from disaster before it strikes, organisations can even benefit from the process of preparedness itself. A classic win-win. Disasters come in many forms, including major IT outage, failure from a third party supplier, product failure and even reputational damage caused by the people in your organisation. So if you haven’t seriously considered facing your fears and done some planning, here’s Endsleigh’s top five things to consider to support your business in such times of need.
- Review risks. A Business Impact Analysis is a thorough piece of work which identifies and measures the risks your organisation faces, and their impact. It looks at the chance of occurrence and what effects each risk will have. It should include major loss and smaller interruptions. You might even decide to change some things to reduce risk now. Why wait for a disaster?
- Think through what you would actually do. Clarify the organisation’s priorities, the business-critical processes and key people it relies on. Think through the options and services available in the event of critical services failures. Look at costs, and the practicality of deploying solutions, such as alternative premises and back-up IT services. Senior management must take direct charge of leading the recovery plan. Tough calls will be required supported by fast decision-making. This may help reveal better processes which can be rolled out to business-as-usual.
- Plan it. Write down who does what, how and when. Make it both tangible and explicit in order to avoid delays at the time of need. Include communications plans which are so often the key between success and failure. It needs to be a living document, subject to review as your business changes, and available constantly.
- Rehearse and test. One of the most crucial parts of a Disaster Recovery Plan is a series of rehearsal exercises. This will enable you to make improvements as well as identify who is best placed to deal with what. Desk-based exercises, practising the “call-out” process or full-blown disaster exercises can really help develop your organisation’s capability to work in crisis.
- Keep it living. Monitor the results of rehearsals, update the plan, promote it internally, train for it and test it again. In short, build disaster recovery into your routine business operations and your organisation can strengthen its protection against disaster.
No-one wants to deploy the plan for real. The development of disaster mitigation strategies makes sense to reduce the chances of needing disaster recovery. Insurance exists too which can fund some of the contingency plans, so perhaps a combination of planning, risk mitigation and insurance might be effective.
Account Manager Niche Commercial Markets Team
Endsleigh Insurances (Brokers) Limited
Telephone: 01242 866852
Mobile: 07841 496839