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Gone are the days when contact centres required acres of server racks, switches, routers and computers. Cloud computing offers a pay-as-you-go “software-as-a-service” commercial model, which means you do not need capital expenditure to invest in your infrastructure.
The cloud delivers a far more flexible solution to organisations than on-premise equipment.
As soon as you invest in on-premise technology, you have to think about what you will do when it goes “end-of-life” i.e. Installing and integrating traditional on-premise equipment in a contact centre or business can take months, even years, and require a substantial amount of time to train users. Every organisation needs to consider how it would operate in case of disaster or other event that means the workforce cannot get to their usual place of work.
Moving to the cloud is a significant business activity, that’s why we’ll move with you and only when you are ready to. Editor’s Note: This is the second article of a two-part series covering disaster preparation and recovery. AssessmentAfter a disaster event has occurred, it is important to determine the level of damage sustained as well as its impact on internal and external operations. What is the extent of the damage to the site and potential transportation routes to the site? What is the damage to offsite materials belonging to the contractor, subcontractors and suppliers?
When reviewing the CPM schedule, was consideration given to adjusting the schedule for the disaster event delay and to remobilization, demolition and reconstruction? What necessary steps will be required by the customer’s insurance and financial entities before construction can recommence? CommunicationIn many situations, the communication and assessment phases can be conducted concurrently. It is also important to establish communications with other agencies, including the firm’s insurance company, its bonding company and other financial institutions that are critical to its ongoing operation.
After suffering damage wrought by hurricanes such as Andrew and Katrina, many of the affected businesses, regardless of industry, were incapable of reopening. Customer Management Marketing and customer management are often not considered immediately after an event. What format or delivery mechanism will provide the greatest value and inform the customer of the project’s current state?
However unorthodox, what actions can the firm take to facilitate an expeditious recovery for the customer? As the customers focus on their associates and business, their attention is drawn away from future construction opportunities.
A business disaster recovery plan is a flexible document that centralizes information that will likely be needed to recover from a disruption to business operations. An effective and tested disaster recovery plan allows units to increase confidence in advance of any potential disaster and to react more quickly, accurately, and professionally should any kind of disaster come to affect their IT operations.  Use this as an opportunity to think strategically about your operations – what could you do to leverage central resources and simplify your disaster recovery responsibilities, allowing you to focus more on where you can add value for your unit. In order to Create a Disaster Recovery Plan, this document provides a brief introduction to IT disaster recovery planning and the tools and options available to IT managers within the organization or company who need to engage in such planning, and indicates where additional information and help can be obtained. Assurance that a plan is in place for the systems that they depend on (in the event of a disaster).
Assurance that preparation for IT recovery in event of a disaster is happening proactively.
A good disaster recovery plan can serve as an operational reference and collection point for documentation.  It also helps staff know what their roles will be in a disaster situation. Assurance that the IT department has a documented plan for dealing with a potential disaster and returning the department or college to normal IT operation quickly, accurately, and professionally. There are a number of ways to make the process of creating an IT disaster recovery plan easier. OIT-DRS tabletop exercise document – a formalized process for helping to test your disaster recovery plan. List of guidelines around audit expectations – informal list of the types of things auditors specifically look for, including topic areas such as file backup methods, testing, and offsite storage, redundancy, and overall disaster recovery plan expectations. The University IT Directors group is an excellent place to find mentors who can help you with the process of creating and testing a disaster recovery plan.
Step Five    –    Determine recovery strategies for every risk that you cannot eliminate. Obviously the plan can be more complex for larger operations, but if it is, make sure you have a team of people with clear assignments to facilitate completion.  This process benefits from having multiple perspectives and like many other aspects of this planning, documenting that you have a team of people all familiar with the DR process for your unit also goes to show how you are working to address risk. Finally, as you complete this process, hopefully having learned through each step more about your operation and gained confidence with DR, consider sharing your knowledge with others.  By making yourself available to others who need to learn, you have the opportunity to continue to learn by seeing others’ situations from the perspective of the observer – sometimes one of the best ways to continue to generate new ideas!
If you’ve outsourced some part of your operation, think about what this means for your disaster recovery planning.  How do you assess the vendor’s disaster recovery capability, and integration with your operations?  Do you have a plan for what to do should the vendor go out of business? Outsourcing is likely to become more common, and audit standards will certainly evolve.  Be sure to consult Internal Audits. This Disaster Planning Template can be used by any size of enterprise to recover from a catastrophe. The disaster planning template and supporting material have been updated to be Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA compliant. Just as a disaster is an event that makes the continuation of normal functions impossible, a disaster recovery plan consists of the precautions taken so that the effects of a event will be minimized, and the organization will be able to either maintain or quickly resume mission-critical functions. Typically, this involves an analysis of business processes and continuity needs; it may also include a significant focus on disaster prevention. With the template is a 3 page Job Description for the Recovery Manager.  The Disaster Recovery Plan Template PREMIUM Bundle contains 11 additional key job descriptions.
Planning for employees, business partners and customers makes up the most critical aspect of business recovery planning, Janco Associates says.
The DRP template includes everything needed to customize the Disaster Recovery Plan to fit your specific requirement. A best practice for disaster and business continuity is a technique, method, process, activity, incentive, or reward that is believed to be more effective at restoring the operation of an enterprise after a disaster or enterprise interruption event occurs. Focus on operations - people and process that drive the enterprise are the primary issues that DRP and BCP are controllable. Train everyone on how to execute the DRP and BCP - People are the front line when it comes to supporting the enterprise. Have a clear definition for declaring when a disaster or business interruption occurs that will set the DRP and BCP process into motion - There needs to be a clear processes for allocating resources based on their criticality and availability requirements.
Integrate DRP and BCP with change management - Changes are inevitable in any sizable environment.

Focus on addressing issues BEFORE they impact the enterprise - When you are aiming to operate at the speed of business, after-the-fact fixes do not make the grade. Validate that all technology is properly installed and configured right from the start - a technology solution that is properly implemented in terms of its hardware, firmware, and software will dramatically reduce problems and downtime in the future.
Monitor the processes and people to know what critical - many of today’s enterprises are experiencing a capacity crisis as they reach the limits of reduced budgets, older facilities and legacy infrastructures.
A major part of the disaster recovery planning process is the assessment of the potential risks to the organization which could result in the disasters or emergency situations themselves. There are many potential disruptive events and the impact and probability level must be assessed to give a sound basis for progress. In a survey of 253 enterprises that had to activate their recovery plans Janco has identified the reasons why recovery is not successful. The most common issue and occurring in 62% of all recovery plans are errors in the plan itself. The DRP template is over 200 pages and includes everything needed to customize the Disaster Recovery Plan to fit your specific requirement.
Work Plan to modify and implement the template.  Included is a list of deliverables for each task. Disaster Recovery Business Continuity Template (WORD) - comes with the latest electronic forms and is fully compliant with all mandated US, EU, and ISO requirements.
Included with the template are Electronic Forms which have been designed to lower the cost of maintenance of the plan. Disaster Recovery is generally perceived as too complicated and expensive for both mission critical and non-mission critical systems. Gerdy Cloud Backup solutions are a great start for protecting data in case of devastation. For more information, please contact our support team who will be able to assist with your questions. Gerdy Solutions Provides IT Support for Sydney Metro including IT Support Parramatta, IT Audit Services Norwest, Managed Services Parramatta, Managed Services Norwest, Cloud Backup Parramatta, and many more services.
Accountants and auditors are being challenged by a flood of important new standards and requirements. Account reconciliation is an important task for many CPAs and CGMA designation holders working in business and industry.
Be the first to know when the JofA publishes breaking news about tax, financial reporting, auditing, or other topics. This quick guide walks you through the process of adding the Journal of Accountancy as a favorite news source in the News app from Apple. We analyze your needs, together with you and our partners, and build custom software solutions, for improving your business processes. A Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is only a part of the Business Continuity Plan (BPC) and it covers general procedures for a business disaster recovery. The steps in creating a Disaster Recovery Plan are: assessing the risk that exposes the organizations and, the potential impact of the realization of a risk, establishing preventive, detection and corrective measures, align time coefficients that have to be achieved in the process of recovery (Recovery Time Objective – RTO, Recovery Point Objective – RPO) to values which are established through the High Availability strategy (part of a BCP).
How to communicate the materialization of a threat inside and outside the organization, so as to have the support of internal human resources, as well as business partners (suppliers, customers, intermediaries)? According to some studies, most companies spend between 2% and 4% of the IT budget on disaster recovery planning in order to avoid bigger losses should the IT infrastructure fail or should the organizationn data sustain severe damages. Among the organizations that have suffered as a result of a major disaster, 43% failed to recover, 51% were closed down within the next 18 months and only 6% survived on long-term. A cloud contact centre from NewVoiceMedia provides a superior alternative to on-premise solutions and the technology head-aches that go with them. Instead you pay a monthly licence to access a multi-tenant cloud environment delivering 99.999% availability, disaster recovery and fully up-to-date functionality to all customers. Instead of making an investment to cover your maximum levels of activity, you can simply pay for the number of licences you require and upscale or reduce these inline with your business requirements.
Cloud solutions, such as ContactWorld can be ready in weeks, sometimes days or even hours, which mean you are delivering added value to your organisation as soon as possible. Organisations with larger contact centres often start by moving a specific team or department to ContactWorld before rolling out the new technology to the rest of the business. Part one appeared in Construction Business Owner’s July 2013 issue and is available here.
Once the affected area is safe and cleared by appropriate emergency personnel, the contractor should document the extent of the damage through reports, photographs and video. Have there been breaches in the building shell that could allow for mold propagation and other organic growth? The premise behind the communications element is to determine the best course of re-establishing channels internally and externally. A person should be charged with maintaining an updated list of contacts and initiating communication as soon as possible.
Mobilization, much like the other elements of the disaster recovery plan, is dependent upon people. By assisting them in their operations in the short term, contractors may influence customers’ planning and operations in the long term. Eisenhower said those words in 1957 regarding how to carry out a plan during an actual emergency, and he was a man who had his share of experience creating and executing plans.  President Eisenhower was illustrating the point that regardless of the amount of planning that is done to prepare for an emergency, it is impossible to predict the actual course of events as the situation unfolds.
In order to Create a Disaster Recovery Plan or when creating a disaster recovery plan you do not know what events will cause its use, but it is possible to reduce the amount of time required to recover by thinking ahead.
Determine which risks can be eliminated and which ones can be mitigated.  Put a plan in place to implement your findings. Document everything you have from the first four steps, perhaps using the tools identified earlier.  If you feel uncomfortable about how well you can answer some of the questions in the context of your own unit, take additional steps to try to become comfortable. The Disaster Template comes as both a Word document and a static fully indexed PDF document. The first is putting systems in place to completely protect all financial and other data required to meet the reporting regulations and to archive the data to meet future requests for clarification of those reports.
Depending on the nature of the outage, you may need to figure out how and where people can continue working. What happens if you don’t have local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN) connectivity for an extended period of time?
The idea is that with proper processes, checks, and testing, a desired outcome can be delivered with fewer problems and unforeseen complications. Implementing a planning and recovery environment is an ideal time to define an approach based on ITIL best practices that will address the process and people issues effectively.

A staff that has not been properly trained in the use of the DRP and BCP when an event occurs will we hindrance. This will define the “rules of the road” for who does what and when while minimizing the factors that can negatively impact enterprise operations. Proper initial configuration can also save time and reduce issues with upgrades, hot patches, and other changes. It is necessary to consider all the possible incident types, as well as and the impact each may have on the organization's ability to continue to deliver its normal business services. This is often due to the plan not being kept up to date (47%) and the unavailability or inaccurate passwords (34%).
Think of disaster recovery as a type of insurance that is used to protect your valuable business data and applications in time of catastrophe.
We offer a range of managed and cloud back-up solutions based on the volume of data being backed-up. We provide server support and IT helpdesk support Parramatta, North Ryde and IT onsite support Bankstown.
Learn how to prepare for some of the biggest issues CPAs are facing this year in this sponsored report.
The IRS reported a data breach, and an AICPA survey reveals young adults’ challenges in making financial decisions. With cloud solutions, you are always up-to-date with the latest version of the product you are using, meaning your organisation is always benefitting from improvements and new features, without having to make any updates yourself. The contact centre can be run remotely as required with users logging in from any location that provides internet and telephony access. The success of recovery efforts directly correlates to the effectiveness and execution of disaster preparation.
What contingencies are in place if utilities and traditional communication lines are inoperable? This will assist insurance officials in their processing of the claims and will document the state of the firm’s projects.
With the assessment complete, firms can expedite the process of filing claims and rebuilding projects and offices. However, addressing the customer’s needs after a firm has organized itself demonstrates a continued proactive instinct for customer service. This paper will review research in the area of disaster recovery and business continuity planning and share what I have learned through interviews with experts who have real-world experience creating, testing and using disaster recovery plans. The second is to clearly and expressly document all these procedures so that in the event of a SOX audit, the auditors clearly see that the DRP exists and will appropriately protect the data. A disaster recovery plan describes how an organization is to deal with potential disasters. For a brief period of time, everyone may need to work remotely, but you will need to have these contingency plans ready, along with automatic notification to tell employees to work at home. National Fire Protection Agency, 35 percent of businesses that experience a major fire are out of business with three years.
National Archives and Records Administration, 80 percent of companies without well-conceived data protection and recovery strategies go out of business within two years of a major disaster.
Otherwise, recovery plans can be easily derailed when new software and hardware is added or upgraded without testing the potential consequences of changes to business technology. Best practices can also be defined as the most efficient (least amount of effort) and effective (best results) way of accomplishing a task, based on repeatable procedures that have proven themselves over time for large numbers of people.
It is important to identify risks across people, process, and technology so that appropriate countermeasures can be implemented.
You can also deploy ContactWorld as a disaster recovery solution in parallel to your existing on-premise equipment should this be appropriate.
Regardless of the plan, however, there is unpredictability associated with any disaster, so each element of the plan should be flexible enough to compensate for unforeseen conditions. After normal operations are resumed, there will be expectations about a project’s schedule and budget. Two-way communication channels may be operable but are often overloaded by emergency personnel utilization.
I will also discuss my experiences implementing this research in the creation of a disaster recovery plan for the Financial Managers Society, Inc. So, if having everyone work at home is not the best option for your business, recovery vendors can provide interim workplaces such as prefabricated mobile offices or buildings designed specifically for use in times of crisis. Backup tape and storage testing services can help ensure that critical data will be available after a major outage. In the worst-case scenario, your business may not have access to any of these vital services. That’s why experts like Janco Associates recommend routine system checkups, as well as longer-term business continuity and resilience planning services.
This not only helps reduce downtime, it also delivers better performance and a faster ROI through better and wiser use of IT assets.
You should also make sure that vendors provide an appropriate level of support including proactive features such as critical patch analysis and change management support. When the firm has documented the disaster and can provide a picture of its impact, it may avoid the adversarial discussions and litigious situations that might otherwise arise from delays and budget overruns.
Ideally, says Janco Associates, backups should be performed off site, preferably at a facility far away from everyday operations. LAN and WAN contingency plans can include services such as remote data access so critical information can be managed and administered from any location. Is the communication plan developed in the preparation phase feasible in light of the current conditions? A fail over system for e-mail is also highly recommended, who note that keeping in touch with partners and customers can make all the difference in remaining in business. These solutions can be activated in seconds, but keep in mind that these systems need to be in place prior to an outage.

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