A disaster recovery plan, or DRP, in a business context is a set of procedures mapped out to enable a business to ensure that its technology infrastructure can continue to operate, after the occurrence of either a natural or a human-induced disaster. The importance of putting in place at least a generic disaster recovery plan can hardly be over-estimated in today’s industrial world. The vast majority of businesses are placing increasing emphasis on the importance of their communication and IT functions, either for managing supply chains, or for dealing with customer transactions and customer service.
When considering how to set up a generic disaster recovery plan, it is important to ensure it is applicable to every possible disaster. It is preferable to keep the generic disaster recovery plan concise, focusing on the most essential information required when a disaster strikes. The issue of data safety is of course one of the most crucial elements of a generic disaster recovery plan.

If you are a business owner considering setting up a generic disaster recovery plan, you may find that one of the most difficult elements is knowing when to start. A DRP is actually one element of the business continuity management process, which involves working out how all aspects of the business will keep functioning, after a major disruption. Organizations often set up plans for fires, floods and earthquakes, yet omit to include arrangements for server or power outages, or application failures. These include the recovery time objective, which refers to how long the business can continue to operate without the essential IT services.
It is possible either to develop a generic disaster recovery plan, which can be adapted to any situation, or to develop customized disaster recovery plans, to deal with individual industries, or specific risk and disaster scenarios. It has been estimated that 20% of companies which experience a disaster go out of business within about five years of the event.

The effects of these can be just as serious as the effects of natural disasters, and they occur much more frequently. They also include the recovery point objective, which estimates how much data the business can afford to loseā€”for instance, no data at all, or data from the last back-up, or more. The plan must provide for making frequent back-ups of all important records and data, in both hard and digital form, and storing them remotely in a secure location.

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