Is your business prepared to combat catastrophic events? Is your disaster recovery plan written and available on an offsite recovery site? Have you cross-checked your DR strategy under all prevalent disruptive circumstances? Not yet? Trust me, and if not google it – around 90% businesses lose their critical data because of disastrous incidents, forcing them to shut down within the two years of their instigation. The survival rate of organizations without an effective backup and disaster recovery plan is less than 10%. Sounds scary – but it is true. Disasters (such as, hurricanes, floods, lightning strikes, man-made errors, fire, and the list goes on) can wipe off the capabilities of a business to run its routine functions.

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This blog attempts to throw light on some of the best backup and recovery practices for long-lasting business success:

Maintain a complete backup of your critical business data at a secure offsite location:

Suppose, if you have a primary data center in India, enveloped with all critical data and IT assets – it would not be a sagacious decision to build your secondary site, just a few miles away from your location. Wondering why? If a flood, hurricane, or power sabotage occurs at the primary site, it might affect the other location as well. A single catastrophic event can take a toll on both the data centers.

That is why, it is important to thoroughly analyze the geographical condition and other related factors of a location, where you are planning to maintain a complete backup of your important business. Most experts suggest, the location should be at least 200-250 miles away from the source data center, and should have all the IT components, imperative for business sustainability and recovery. This, in turn, will ensure that your business runs smoothly, even if the disaster hits. Typically, both the facilities will have separate power sources, so outage in one location will not affect business operations.

Cross-check your business continuity and disaster recovery plan to test its appropriateness:

Let me give you an example, you ordered a stunning dress to show up at your brother’s wedding, a month before the day. You received the package, but never bothered to try it once. The occasion arrives, and you are trying real hard to fit yourself into that designer dress. And, oops – it ditched you.

That is why; it is of immense importance to ensure things beforehand. Same goes with your disaster recovery plan – a non-validated plan is a failed plan. If you have skipped this phase of disaster recovery cycle, all the efforts will turn futile, as your team will be in a baffling state which way to go when a chaos hits. There is a plethora of tests, and you need to go step by step to derive its full-fledged benefits.  Testing provides an understanding of multiple concepts – like, it allows you to check whether your procedures are right; it allows you to acquaint your team with the correct procedures, so that they can operate even in an unwelcomed situation.

Make sure that production changes are updated in BC/DR plan:

If you have a clear idea about your critical business operations, applications, data sources, including their SLAs and the steps required for the recovery within the RTO/RPO, trust me, your business will remain safe even if a severely disruptive event hits your business location.

Now, think of a situation. After one year or a few months down the line, you have deployed an application, moving it from onsite dedicated server to the cloud computing platform. Again, all your setup will be fruitless – as the application deployed by your IT professionals is not compatible with your recovery plan. And, when the disaster occurs, you will not be able to recover anything. This situation can be handled only by updating your disaster recovery strategy time and again.

Ensure your BC/DR plan is accessible in the event of catastrophic event

No matter, how effective plan you have tabled to protect your business against unwanted nuances, it will of no use if your concerned team cannot access it at the time of crisis. So, it is important that all these strategies are organized and quickly accessible to your team even if the primary site gets affected. In addition to this, as you ought to have make changed in the strategies – ensure that all these copies are updated in order to avoid any chaotic situation.  Remember, it is better to have no plan than having an outdated or half plan. Keep the updated copies on the cloud and acquaint your team with the same.

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Maintain Multiple Copies of Your BC/DR plan

Keeping a plan with a single person of a company is not a good idea – as he might get sick, leave the company, or may be unavailable at the time of disaster. This means, no one will know how to execute the DR process further. The best way to avoid this risky situation is to involve a number of individuals, and acquaint them with the process of BC/DR execution. Apart from this, you can outsource your recovery plan to a third-party disaster recovery specialist, so that if the primary location is attacked, processes can be resumed easily.

These are a few tips that can help your business save no matter what intensity of disaster may strike.  If you have more tips to share, please feel free to comment.

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