You can try and plan for it. You can train for it as much as possible. You can create multiple systems designed to prevent it. When a disaster does occur, it’s usually when you least expect it.  

[easy-tweet tweet=”Companies can lose up to $5,600 per minute on average during an outage” hashtags=”tech, cloud, security”]

Just ask Delta Airlines.

A huge power outage in the US delayed and cancelled flights worldwide, causing widespread chaos and significant damage to the Delta brand. Enterprises and businesses should view this as a cautionary tale – having a tried and tested disaster recovery plan in place is critical.

I can’t stress enough how imperative it is to have a disaster recovery plan in place that ensures you’re prepared to cope with any disaster that might come along. The aim of any disaster recovery plan should be to get back up and running as soon as possible. There’s the damage to your brand to consider, not mentioning the costs involved. According to Gartner, companies can lose up to $5,600 per minute on average during an outage.

To make sure your disaster recover plan is up to the task, consider these 6 questions:

1. Has your disaster recovery team set roles and responsibilities?

Each member of your disaster recovery team needs a clearly defined role. When a disaster hits, everyone needs to know exactly what their job is to ensure the plan is carried out without hesitation or mistakes.

Contact information for each member is a must and clarity on their role for him or her and the rest of the team. Sounds minor but this will make all the difference in the event of a disaster.

2. Will your budget cover the unexpected?

In the same way a disaster can be unexpected, so can the costs involved in getting back online. Do you need cloud support? Usage fees need to be factored in. Will there be a need for external consultants to assist the disaster recovery team? They will most likely be more expensive than your employees so there needs to be the necessary budget in place.

Having a surplus in case of a disaster is key. Every minute of downtime can result in huge IT expenses, especially for larger enterprises. Considering these additional expenses and building them into the plan is critical to ensure your team doesn’t meet any further snags when trying to get authorisation for these costs.

3. Can you mobilise your data?

[easy-tweet tweet=”Data mobility means immediate and self-service access to data anytime” hashtags=”data, tech, recovery”]

If a disaster strikes, you’ll need to consider the mobility of your data – is it confined to your physical infrastructure or can your data move freely to different locations?

Data mobility means immediate and self-service access to data anytime, anywhere. It enables accelerated application development, faster testing and business acceptance, more development output, improved productivity and improved time-to-impact business intelligence.

Without data mobility, there’s a significant risk of recovery cost and time to get back online.

4. What is most likely to go wrong with your data?

Once you have your plan in place, it’s important to analyse it closely and be aware of what is most likely to go wrong when executing it. Hone in on those vulnerabilities and ensure they are corrected. Finding ways to avoid them will make for a much smoother disaster recovery process.

5. Has your plan been put to the test?

Test, test and test again – making sure your disaster recovery plan is ready to be rolled out successfully at any time is an absolute must.

After testing, analyse the result to see if the plan performed according to the specifications. Are there any areas that need to be ironed out or strengthened? Testing a disaster recovery plan should be done consistently on a regular basis so the plan can evolve and become the best it can possibly be.

6. Are your systems up-to-date?

Finally, having up-to-date systems is essential when forming a strong disaster recovery plan. Do you have the most modern backup and recovery solution or is it just another one of the same traditional solutions that don’t work? Considering the newest technologies such as copy data virtualisation will bring the way you manage disaster recovery to the next level.

The risks associated with poor disaster recovery – data loss, unforeseen budget expenses, loss of customer trust – can be avoided by taking all of these elements into consideration during your planning phase.