Joseph Imperato, Sr., Partner, XSolutions
When disaster strikes, your business – and your bottom line – will suffer if you don’t have a disaster recovery plan. The trouble is, without a team in place to execute your plan, even the most carefully constructed strategy falls apart. In order to ensure you’re covering all the many areas of IT, here’s who you will need. But first, you need to know what a disaster recovery team is and why it is so critical you have one.
WHY YOU NEED DISASTER RECOVERY
Over 70% of SMBs have experienced an outage or other disasters. Given that it can take up to 3 months to recoverfrom a disaster, your business needs a strategy in place to get you moving again as quickly as possible.
WHAT IS A DISASTER RECOVERY TEAM?
The disaster recovery team is responsible for maintaining critical business operations during a natural disaster, a major security breach, or another severe incident. It’s a serious component of your disaster recovery strategy – without a team, there’s no one to implement your recovery plan.
WHO TO INCLUDE IN YOUR TEAM
However you design your team, it’s crucial that it covers all areas of your IT strategy and infrastructure. Here’s who to include:
1: Executive steering committee
You need executive approval for things such as strategy, budget, policy considerations, and high-level oversight. While executives don’t handle much of the disaster recovery planning, they oversee the process and should be aware of everything that’s happening.
2: The crisis management coordinator
The crisis management coordinator, or disaster recovery coordinator, manages the recovery process itself. They set the recovery plans into motion, oversee progress, and troubleshoot if problems arise. The crisis management coordinator is integral to disaster recovery planning.
3: A business continuity expert
This person helps keep your business moving during a disaster. They facilitate open communication across teams, confirm that your disaster recovery plan is aligned with your business needs, maintain correct reporting procedures, and ensure that you’re still in contact with vendors, clients, and employees.
4: IT applications monitor
This person is responsible for ensuring that the right IT applications are up and running. They may also be responsible for maintaining your network infrastructure and telecoms during this time. They work very closely with the specialist branch of your recovery personnel – the impact assessment and recovery team.
5: The impact assessment and recovery team
This team is comprised of your IT experts. They cover your databases, your network, your servers, and your storage. They understand your unique IT infrastructure and how to maintain its integrity after a disaster. If you don’t have IT experts on staff, you should outsource this job to a specialist Managed Services Provider (MSP).
6: Business unit advisers
Invite someone from every unit to join this team at the earliest planning stages. That way, you’ll have a better understanding of how your disaster recovery strategy affects each division within your company. They can also help you work out how to minimize costs; for example, you might save money if you wait an extra hour to recover an application, and so on.
If the worst happens, you won’t have time to think or devise a disaster recovery plan, which is why it’s so important to ensure you have both the plan and the team in place before a disaster affects your business. With the right disaster recovery team, you can drastically improve your chances of survival in the wake of an incident.