The Stages of Disaster Recovery Planning – Initiation

Disaster Recovery comes in many shapes and sizes. When making your disaster recovery plans you need to ask yourself a number of questions at the start to keep you focused on what you are trying to accomplish, what is realistic and what should be prioritised.

Questions include:

  • What are the most likely disasters that I could encounter
  • What would I need the day of the disaster
  • What would I need the day after the disaster
  • What help would I need to get back up and running
  • Who would need help internally / externally
  • Do I have budget set aside
  • Are there regulatory requirements I need to fulfil (SOX, ISO, or customer requirements)
  • What data and systems would I need to facilitate these goals

You’ll notice that the list above other than the last one there is no mention of IT, this is because DR is not just the realm of computer systems and IT. IT as with all areas of business is an enabler but you’ll find that the biological interfaces (the staff) and the buildings / other equipment is normally equally important. This is why DR plans are best made with representation from all aspects of the business, and indeed in some cases customers too.

When you’ve gotten a list of your answers and a list of relevant parties issue them with the questions too, including your answers if you feel the guidance would help them. Once you’ve a clearer overall picture then you can make plans that range from the relatively short lived ‘power cut’ to a more serious location outage (fire / staff strike / natural disaster)

Tomorrow we’ll look at scenario setting and gap analysis.

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