Disaster Recovery – The Short List

Disaster recovery and continuity planning is still on everyone’s mind. Recent trends focus on data management and recovery—not necessarily to ensure continued operations in the event of an unplanned interruption, but most notably to ensure that regulators can monitor, audit and enforce compliance with the laws and regulations that have arisen in the wake of 9-11, and the corporate ‘scandals’ that have plagued businesses over the past few years.

But as many of you know, record-keeping and data backup is only a piece of the puzzle, albeit an important one. Two years ago (September 2002), Rimon conducted a legal briefing to review the issues related to continuity planning, and this month we thought it might be helpful to repeat some of the simple tips that may help you think about disaster recovery. Of course, if you would like a copy of the presentation, or help, just let us know.

  • Get senior management support: Without it you have no money or authority.
  • Identify, evaluate, prioritize: Which critical operations must continue?
  • Retrieve and restore: What resources need to be available?
  • Plan, plan, plan: Alternate locations, communication methods and control centers. Avoid single points of failure.
  • Money: Emergency cash and lines of credit.
  • Communicate: Media, emergency personnel, employees, customers and suppliers.
  • Practice, practice; Test, test, test: Got the message?
  • Educate, train and inform: Everyone should be advised and trained in his or her role.
  • Update, plan, update, plan: Continuity planning is a continuous process.
  • Insurance: Not prevention, but damage control and worth considering.
  • Consider others: Employees, customers, suppliers, business partners. Involve those who will be affected, to the extent you can.
  • Think relationship, not lawsuit: Contracts can be roadmaps for cooperation.
  • Tear up the plan and start again: What if your primary plan doesn’t work?
  • Think globally, act locally: International operations have international problems.
  • Safety first: Safety of people is the first priority. Good people can overcome the toughest challenges—treat them accordingly.