An organization will never know how important a disaster recovery (DR) plan is until it’s in the middle of a proverbial storm – either literally or figuratively – and realizes it doesn’t have one. Sadly, there are a lot of companies willing to take that risk.
Just 54% of businesses have a company-wide DR plan in place, according to a recent study. Only half of companies with a formal plan test it annually, and seven percent don’t test at all. Considering one in three Americans were affected by extreme weather events over the past two years, you’d think more businesses would take precautions to ensure they can “weather the storm.” Perhaps they don’t fully realize the severity of this negligence.
Forty percent of small businesses never reopen following a disaster. Of those that do reopen, 25% fail within a year, while roughly two-thirds of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) affected by natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods and earthquakes are out of business one year later.
As extreme weather events become more common and severe, it’s critical that your business has a thorough and agile DR plan on hand – running around in sheer panic is not going to cut it.
So, what does a dependable DR plan look like?
It lays out comprehensive steps to take before, during and after a disturbance, while also determining how much downtime and data loss your business can afford (a business impact analysis (BIA) can help with this). It identifies your organization’s most mission- and business-critical applications, tiers them based on importance and determines suitable recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs). It also ensures that all application interdependencies are mapped out assets.
A DR plan is only as effective as it is current. Make sure to update it as your production environment, business needs and application dependencies change, and that you test it regularly so your employees understand their roles and responsibilities and can build necessary muscle memory. Frequent testing will also allow you to fill in any gaps or vulnerabilities as they arise.
Disasters can strike anytime, anywhere. Having an updated and tested DR plan could mean the difference between staying afloat and closing shop. What’s your confidence level?