Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity and Management Approach

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans help Organizations stay on the course, minimize their risk to business operations and limit the losses incurred in the event of a crisis or disaster. The planned approach helps define what is required to be done to resume business operations during an emergency situation.

An effective plan would entail detailed Business impact analysis, describing in detail every possible risk, the impact of the risk and the methods or process to arrest damage and carry out the process of disaster recovery as well as ensure business continuity.

In the current times, with the advancement of IT systems and technologies, organizations have realized the fact that they cannot afford to lose any of their assets or risk disruption of business in the event of any crisis or disaster. Therefore the concept of DR & BC have gained ground.

Though the organizations do endorse the usefulness of these plans and spend time and efforts to draw up the plans in detail, it is seen that in a majority of cases the plans are left lying unused or in the state that they were drawn up originally without a periodic review and updation. The initial enthusiasm that is seen during the implementation soon wears off and people tend to forget all about DR & BC, with the result that during crises they go searching for the plans and pour over it to see what is required to be done. This of course is an extreme case being depicted here for no organization would want to let the plans lie unused. However, it is important to understand why in some cases the DR & BC Plans are not successfully implemented and maintained.

First and foremost the lack of focus and interest from the Management can hinder the DR & BC plan in an Organization. Quite often when the management comes across a crises situation elsewhere or they perceive a threat or risk to their business, they tend to get serious about drawing up a DR & BC plan for their business. However when the situation turns normal or after a few days they tend to lose interest and are not likely to be interested in spending huge amount of money inc creating DR & BC sites.

Secondly lack of manpower and adequate budgets hamper DR & BC plans. When it comes to implementing a DR & BC plan there cannot be any questions of cutting corners in maintaining DR Sites. If an Organization or business warrants maintaining a DR Site live and as a backup, then the required resources in terms of finance as well as manpower would have to be engaged. Maintaining DR & BC plans call for investments not only in manpower but also in building required infrastructure, IT & Systems costs as well as day to day operational and maintenance costs too. When Business managers and senior management do not provide the required resources the plans are likely to suffer. In some cases the business may not be able to support such costs towards establishing and maintaining DR Sites.

Ultimately the management would need to take a balanced view of comparing the cost of recovery to the risk and loss to the business and decided on how far they wish to go with the DR & BC Plans. A sustained interest, support and focus from the management coupled with dedicated ownership and responsibility on a team to review, implement and conduct period mock drills would be the right approach to making the DR & BC plans effective.

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