What is Disaster Recovery Plan ?

Imagine that you are running a small scale organization and have been in business for over five years. You have managed to streamline all processes online including purchasing, payroll, invoicing and accounting etc. It is quite likely that you will not have paid any thought to taking backup of your data on systems. Even if you have done so for a while, you may not have invested on buying an external hard disk or drive to store the backup data. In such situation, if your hard disk crashes and your IT service provider tells you that he is not able to recover the data for you, you will have lost all of the valuable data concerning your business for the last five years and the loss is irreplaceable. This happens in many places including medium and large scale organizations too.

This is where the concept of disaster recovery comes into place. Any disaster can threaten your assets including systems. The causes may be natural, manmade or accidental. The consequences of loss can be disastrous for the business. To avoid such situations, one needs to adapt good Disaster Management practice in place.

The practice of Disaster Management and Recovery solutions has largely been adapted by the IT and technology companies which are susceptible to disasters and which have critical applications supporting their business as well as their customer’s businesses. However this concept is not limited to just the IT Companies alone.

Disaster Management and Disaster Recovery focus on drawing up a methodical and detailed plan that anticipates possible risks, disasters and events and outlines action first to protect the systems and assets and secondly to recover the functions as fast as possible. A good Disaster Management plan will include all products and systems related to technology including voice and data communication systems, software, data and hardware as well as the various IT hardware, software and databases, servers etc.

Businesses like banking, credit cards, airlines and other critical systems cannot afford any disruption of services as well as loss of data, the result of which can be disastrous for the businesses. All such companies are known to invest heavily into establishing and managing offshore data backup and recovery centers or at alternate sites. Such companies ensure that they have a fool proof data backup system that is functional at all times.

Often one finds that the cost of setting up a Disaster Recovery plan in place can be as expensive as setting up complete operations. However if the systems are highly critical to running the business like credit card companies and banks, they would have no option but to invest on the recovery centers.

At this juncture it is important to note that Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity are not one and the same. Though the objective is similar, there is a slight variation between the two. In the event of a disaster striking the site, Disaster Recovery aims at recovering assets, systems, data and other things and getting operations back to normal. However Business continuity focuses on getting the entire business operations or at least practical operations back on its feet in the event of a disaster.

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