Disaster can strike at any moment, which is why it’s important to have a disaster recovery plan. However, it’s as important to have a disaster recovery team. A good team can pull off the plan flawlessly and improvise where necessary, while a poor team could fail to meet the plan’s goals and may struggle if any other issues arise during the recovery process.
This article will not only define what a disaster recovery team is but will also explain just a few of the benefits of having one. To help make things easier, keep reading on to learn why you should establish a disaster recovery team.
Before we can explain the benefits, we must first understand what a disaster recovery team is. A disaster recovery team is a group of your employees who are dedicated to creating, testing, implementing, and maintaining your disaster recovery plans.
They will work with you to create a recovery plan for each type of emergency situation that you may face. Then, they will test this plan to ensure it will work, and then they will implement it when necessary—but that isn’t all, though.
As your business expands, so too will your employee count, the number of various tasks you must perform, and the software that is used to perform these tasks. On top of this, software gets updated, and hardware will be upgraded over time. As a result, a disaster recovery plan must be tested occasionally and revised to take these changes into account, which is another task your disaster recovery team will have.
However, your team must first include all of the appropriate individuals to ensure these tasks are completed smoothly and efficiently.
The first member you’ll need is a senior member in a high position to oversee the entire team, which could be anyone in a manager position, from your executive IT manager to your CIO or chief information manager. You’ll also need someone from the IT department on your disaster recovery team so they can monitor and repair any technology that could or does cause a disaster.
A few of the other people you’ll need to include are an impact assessment and recovery advisor, a crisis management coordinator, and a business continuity expert.
We mentioned before that some of the duties of a disaster recovery team include creating and testing a recovery plan. Creating the plan is obviously important, but so is testing it.
Imagine this: you go to work one day, and as you go about and perform your daily tasks, a loud alarm bombards your ears, and you might even see flashing lights around you. You understand quickly that this is a fire alarm and immediately leave your office only to discover that your main exit is blocked.
What happens next is determined by whether or not a fire drill was practiced. If it was, then you and your employees likely know exactly where to go next; if not you’ll all be scrambling in a panic to find a new exit. If this is a drill, you can learn from this experience and come out stronger. You’ll be in trouble if it turns out not to be a drill. While this example may have seemed extreme, a similar thing can happen if a disaster recovery plan exists but hasn’t been tested.
There are many ways your team may test a plan, from simply reviewing the plan to setting up disaster scenarios in a safe environment to see how well the tests work and diagnose any problems that could cause a disaster in the future if left unchecked. These tests work best when scheduled and conducted frequently and are heavily documented, which are both things a good recovery team will do.
Recovering from a disaster can be a tedious and time-consuming task—however, a good disaster recovery team will be able to reduce the recovery time significantly. They’ll ensure the correct recovery plan is enacted and that everyone involved is doing their part. Usually this will mean restoring lost data from the backups saved on the cloud, though it could also mean other things based on the emergency at hand.
For example, if an important application updated and deleted some of the data it held, then not only is data recovery required, but contacting the company that maintains the app and providing the update is also necessary. If a legacy app suddenly stops functioning you’ll need to find a temporary alternative quickly to give you and your team time to discuss the next steps to take.
A recovery plan aims to make disaster recovery as quick and simple as possible. The team will not only ensure that this happens but will also try to find ways to prevent the disaster from occurring again in the future when possible.
Disasters can be expensive, especially if they are some form of natural disaster, and on top of repairing the damage caused, you’ll also have to cope with the loss of revenue from being inoperable for some amount of time. A good disaster recovery team can reduce this amount of time, which will save you money in the long run.
Some disasters can be mitigated by installing backup systems, which a recovery team would authorize and monitor. These systems may be an extra location to store important data, keep the customer-facing systems up and running, perform any number of other functions to make recovery go as smoothly as possible, or even keep your business operational during recovery. The ultimate goal is to get the business up and running as quickly as possible, and that’s what a disaster recovery team will strive for.
These are only a few of the benefits of having a disaster recovery team in place. Some of the benefits we didn’t cover include having enhanced security and stronger business continuity.
However, one often overlooked benefit is the peace of mind you’ll have. While disasters are scary, a good and well-tested recovery plan can help ease your mind, and a recovery team is a part of that. Having highly experienced individuals that you trust in charge of getting your business back up and running will allow you to stress over disasters less and let you focus more on growing and expanding your operation.