Why every business needs a disaster recovery plan

In an age where time has become an SMEs’ most valuable commodity, the fact that 96% of organisations experienced at least one incidence of downtime between 2019 and 2022 is alarming. Perhaps more shocking though, is the fact that more than half of reported tech outages are avoidable — providing the right strategies are in place. Here, Vapour CEO Tim Mercer talks on the best ways to boost resilience and safeguard business continuity

Disasters can strike at any time, and companies of all sizes, operating in any sector, are vulnerable. If the havoc that ensued throughout UK airports recently as a result of faulty automated passport gates has taught us anything, it’s to always expect the unexpected.

A natural disaster, power outage, cyber attack, or other unforeseen event can quickly bring operations to a halt. Without a disaster recovery plan (DRP) in place, firms could rapidly see costs spiral and data disappear, compromise their compliance responsibilities, hinder productivity, as well as damage their reputation — and their business — as a result.

An essential part of any robust risk management strategy, a DRP is a document that outlines how your company will recover from an unplanned incident. It should include information about your critical systems, data backup procedures, and communication plan. A well-written strategy will minimise any damage incurred and ensure operations are restored as swiftly and safely as possible.

So, where do you start when it comes to formulating a future-proofed DR strategy?

Identify any business-critical systems and data — things your teams could not function without. Then, develop a strategy for these. How will you backup your data? Where will you store different copies? And how will you restore this information in the event of a disaster? Our backup tips blog should offer a good starting point.

Outlining essential steps for sharing information with your employees, clients and other key stakeholders during and after a crisis, is critical too — not only from a reputational perspective, but also from a cultural standpoint. Colleagues should feel competent in helping to keep business ticking over until a resolution is reached, and knowing which message to relay to who, will significantly underpin that.

Above all else, test your DRP regularly. With technology and cyber threats advancing with such pace, the procedures you implement today may no longer be fit for purpose six months down the line. Running tests will help you identify gaps in your plan and ensure everything is as up-to-date as possible at all times. You never know when disaster can strike.

When formulating a DRP, organisations should also consider:

  • The size and complexity of their business: A small firm may only need to focus on protecting its critical systems and data, while a larger company may need to have a more comprehensive plan that includes multiple locations and disaster scenarios.
  • The cost of implementation: This will significantly vary from one organisation to the next, but the cost of not having a DRP could weigh far heavier.
  • The frequency of testing: As well as the size and complexity of the business, the level of risk a firm is willing to accept will inform how often testing should take place. For a tightly regulated financial firm or educational institution, for example, the responsibility to keep sensitive customer data protected may mean the stakes are higher.

Don't wait until it's too late. Start developing your DRP today with the support of Vapour’s award-winning toolkit and get in touch today. Your business depends on it.

Posted By Vapour Comms Team

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