Disaster Recovery Plan: Why Your Business Needs One

Do you have a plan in place for your business if disaster strikes? Find out why you need a disaster recovery plan to safeguard your business after an emergency.  

Do you have a plan in place for when your business experiences a natural disaster like hurricane, flood, or wildfire? What about a terrorist attack or data breach? A disaster recovery plan can help safeguard your business when the unexpected happens. Businesses without this type of plan are just one disaster away from serious downtime or a potential permanent shutdown. Below, we’ll dive deeper into what a disaster recovery plan is, why your business needs one, and what you should include in your plan.

What Is A Disaster Recovery Plan?

A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a strategy that details what your business will do to respond to and recover from a natural disaster, emergency situation, or another unforeseen event. These plans can be developed to respond to a number of different events from a hurricane or fire that causes damage to your business property to a malware attack that leaves your customer data vulnerable. The goal is to have a plan in place that minimizes damage or downtown from the disaster.

A disaster recovery plan isn’t just about IT or technology resources. It should be developed with your entire business in mind, covering staff, physical location, inventory, and all other aspects of your day-to-day operations. With a DRP in place, businesses can respond quickly and effectively to emergency events and take the necessary steps to fully recover from any impact.

Why Your Business Needs a Disaster Recovery Plan

Disasters like fires or floods can significantly disrupt your business operations. Having a disaster recovery plan in place helps your business continue to operate smoothly during times of uncertainty. Though this plan cannot guarantee that your business will not experience any ill effects of the disaster, it can work to minimize the damage and help you control how your company recovers from the event.

Here are just three reasons why your business could benefit from a disaster recovery plan:

1. Minimize impact on customers.

When your business faces a disaster, your customers and clients are often impacted. Whether your business is unable to fulfill orders due to a fire or flood at your physical location or your servers are shut down because of an IT issue, you are letting your customers down when you are unable to effectively meet their expectations. A DRP provides your business with a step-by-step solution for addressing any potential issues that may arise so that your staff can continue to successfully serve clients with little to no interruption.

2. Protect your brand image and reputation.

An unforeseen event like a ransomware attack or data breach can compromise your company’s private data. When media and your customers hear about the leak, this can impact your brand’s image and hurt its reputation as your customers will start to be concerned about whether their information is safe. With a DRP, your business will have a plan of attack for quickly and effectively addressing these concerns with the media and your customers, helping your business minimize the negative impact the event will have on your brand reputation.

3. Prevent revenue loss.

Emergency situations have the potential to significantly interrupt or even stop your business operations. With downtime comes a loss of revenue. By developing a plan that helps your business effectively respond to unforeseen events, you can minimize downtime and prevent this revenue loss.

What to Include in Your Plan

Though every disaster recovery plan will vary slightly based on the specific needs and offering of each company, there are a few common elements that every successful DRP includes:

  • List of Contacts – You should have a list of contact information for all key personnel who need to be notified and updated during an emergency situation. Don’t just include executives but also other staff that’s important to operations such as HR and IT managers.
  • Backup Information – Include information about backups in your DRP, including how often backups are completed, which data backups are available, when the last backup was for each data set, and where the data backups are stored.
  • List of Programs Used – Include an inventory of all the programs, software, apps, and hardware your business uses with the name of the program, version or model number, vendor name, warranty details, and customer support contact information.
  • Plan B – Your disaster recovery plan should also feature a Plan B for operations should an emergency situation interrupt your business. This Plan B should provide information on alternative workplace arrangements should staff need to relocate and which roles are excused from working during any contingency period and which are essential.

Though developing a disaster recovery plan does require a significant amount of work up-front, the consequences of not having a plan in place can be catastrophic. A DRP helps you minimize damage to your business during and after an emergency situation and gives you a guide for recovering from any damage that does take place.