Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan for small businesses need effectual strategies to deal with and to recover from disrupting occurrences. It is apparent that disasters such as earthquake, floods, hurricanes and several other disasters inflict thousands of businesses to suffer heavy losses and many of them even get locked. As an owner of a small business, it becomes unavoidable to protect critical units of your organization, including your IT server room, power utilities, and highly expensive and heavy equipments including employees and customers from injury within your business premises in an event of disaster.
Our BCP & DRP packages comprise of templates, forms, checklist, guide, policies, standards and samples. While DR planning may be more challenging for resource-strapped midmarket businesses than large enterprises, there still are basic ways to ensure a timely recovery and maximal continuity.
Gartner analyst Donna Scott says a BIA needs to be a joint project between business and IT. At the House of LaRose, Brinegar went to management after the New Year's Eve outage and campaigned for a DR plan. Once you have identified your critical systems, RTOs, RPOs, etc, create a table, as shown below, to help you formulate the disaster recovery strategies you will use to protect them. Publicly traded companies face Sarbanes-Oxley Act mandates for data retention, while private companies in industries as different as the wine business and finance must meet government regulations for record-keeping and service continuity.
This should cover what threats are likely (power outage, natural disaster, terrorism) and the possible consequences in terms of lost revenue, productivity and reputation. A BIA is focused on assessing the criticality of business processes and the applications used within them, as well as the impact when the applications and infrastructure are not available for varying periods of time.
It is in these plans that you will set out the detailed steps needed to recover your IT systems to a state in which they can support the business after a disaster. Once the plan has been launched, DR teams take the materials assigned to them and proceed with response and recovery activities as specified in the plans. These are essential in that they ensure employees are fully aware of DR plans and their responsibilities in a disaster, and DR team members have been trained in their roles and responsibilities as defined in the plans. Identifying the threats likely to prevail in a particular geographic region will help determine data center location, data center site separation, and the most cost-effective technologies for DR. Then define step-by-step procedures to, for example, initiate data backup to secure alternate locations, relocate operations to an alternate space, recover systems and data at the alternate sites, and resume operations at either the original site or at a new location.
If DR plans are to be invoked, incident response activities can be scaled back or terminated, depending on the incident, allowing for launch of the DR plans. Also establish recovery time objectives (RTOs), or the time to full resumption, and recovery point objectives (RPOs), which specify the amount of data loss acceptable in terms of minutes or hours. Technology DR plans can be enhanced with relevant recovery information and procedures obtained from system vendors.
Check with your vendors while developing your DR plans to see what they have in terms of emergency recovery documentation.
Midmarket CIOs are as likely as not to have overlooked drawing up a business continuity plan. Almost half of midmarket firms have poor disaster recovery plans, according to one estimate. Then the motherboard on the company's Novell NetWare system burned out, triggering a cascade of server failures that brought business to a halt.


To view our complete multimedia package, visit our disaster recovery and business continuity supercast. The first step is to conduct a detailed review of the vulnerabilities that IT and the overall business face by performing a business impact analysis (BIA). CompuCom solutions architect Charley Ballmer created a BIA for LifeGift, assessing hurricanes and flooding as the most likely disasters, followed by a terrorist attack on the local petroleum industry. CIOs should adopt a structured, formal approach, drawing on published methodologies -- including IT Infrastructure Library, COBIT and ISO standards 17799 and 27001 -- that define risk, threats and controls. When Chris Formes became IT manager at Brookfield Homes, the $888 million public company didn't have a DR plan, so he hired a contractor to perform a threat assessment and design a recovery strategy.
IT should advise and execute, but overall responsibility for DR should be vested in line-of-business owners.
Testing carries some risk, requiring scheduled downtime and potential business consequences. It's not just the technology but also the process that needs a dry run so that everybody knows what to do in the event of an actual disaster.
Another excellent resource for library managers who are preparing for the worst is Disaster Planning, a How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians (Halsted, Jasper & Little 2005). This work contains a detailed step-by-step guide for creating a disaster preparation strategy, including a section on writing a disaster plan. It is almost impossible to imagine what ensues when disaster strikes; therefore, it's very important to imbue a newly-formed disaster team with a sense of the myriad of details it will be confronted with in an actual disaster and a grasp of the urgency it will face when the collection is under siege.
Like the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries website, it offers a customizable disaster plan template as well as a Disaster Mitigation Web Site Kit which allows managers to build an online version of the disaster plan (allowing for offsite access and easy revision and propagation) (Halsted, Jasper & Little, p.xx). Once your disaster recovery strategies have been developed, you’re ready to translate them into disaster recovery plans.
When Hurricane Rita was headed for Houston a couple of years ago, the LifeGift Organ Donation Center implemented its DR plan: The IT staff loaded equipment on a truck and drove it to Dallas. Then, you’ll need to establish recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs). Located at the end of the plan, these can include systems inventories, application inventories, network asset inventories, contracts and service-level agreements, supplier contact data, and any additional documentation that will facilitate recovery. Management realized it needed a better plan and contracted with CompuCom, a Dallas-based IT services firm, to take over DR planning. Here we can see the critical system and associated threat, the response strategy and (new) response action steps, as well as the recovery strategy and (new) recovery action steps.
The more detailed the plan is, the more likely the affected IT asset will be recovered and returned to normal operation.
This section defines the criteria for launching the plan, what data is needed and who makes the determination. If your organisation already has records management and change management programmes, use them in your DR planning. The BIA ranked LifeGift's most critical business processes as organ tracking and patient communication, establishing a 15-minute RTO for those apps, while accounting was given a 24-hour failover period.
Forrester's Krojnewski says executives sometimes ask for unrealistic or overly expensive continuity.


CIOs should make a case for DR investment so that the business owners can go after the funding. Forrester reports that most of the enterprises surveyed found that implementing a DR plan required more work than expected. Team members should be encouraged to focus on specific areas pertinent to their designated roles and to become resident experts in these domains, perhaps authoring individual sections of the official disaster plan.
This will enable an intelligent response to the many offers of assistance that will doubtlessly come in the case of disaster from a variety of sources, including overtures from those who wish simply to profit from the library's misfortune.
In addition to using the strategies previously developed, IT disaster recovery plans should form part of an incident response process that addresses the initial stages of the incident and the steps to be taken. Here we’ll explain how to write a disaster recovery plan as well as how to develop disaster recovery strategies.
Businesses can do much to prepare for the impact of natural disasters including floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. If staff relocation to a third-party hot site or other alternate space is necessary, procedures must be developed for those activities.
And since DR planning generates a significant amount of documentation, records management (and change management) activities should also be initiated. Included within this part of the plan should be assembly areas for staff (primary and alternates), procedures for notifying and activating DR team members, and procedures for standing down the plan if management determines the DR plan response is not needed.
Learn how to develop disaster recovery strategies as well as how to write a disaster recovery plan with these step-by-step instructions. Important: Best-in-class DR plans should begin with a few pages that summarise key action steps (such as where to assemble employees if forced to evacuate the building) and lists of key contacts and their contact information for ease of authorising and launching the plan.
You’ll need to identify and contract with primary and alternate suppliers for all critical systems and processes, and even the sourcing of people.
Formulating a detailed recovery plan is the main aim of the entire IT disaster recovery planning project.
Be prepared to demonstrate that your strategies align with the organisation’s business goals and business continuity strategies. Once this work is out of the way, you’re ready to move on to developing disaster recovery strategies, followed by the actual plans. Procedures should ensure an easy-to-use and repeatable process for recovering damaged IT assets and returning them to normal operation as quickly as possible.
This process can be seen as a timeline, such as in Figure 2, in which incident response actions precede disaster recovery actions. The next section should define roles and responsibilities of DR recovery team members, their contact details, spending limits (for example, if equipment has to be purchased) and the limits of their authority in a disaster situation. Based on the findings from incident response activities, the next step is to determine if disaster recovery plans should be launched, and which ones in particular should be invoked.




Risk assessment analysis and evaluation
Ccie security preparation
Hurricane information for students


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