As we get ready for the holiday season, you're probably thinking of spending time with family and friends and enjoying the celebrations, but the fun is tempered by the reality that your budget is probably coming due again. Are you ready to face the coming year? Do you know how you will spend the monies you still have left for this year? Important questions indeed, especially as you look at Disaster Recovery (DR) planning.
Budgets that are about to expire usually have a "use it or lose it" clause that allows your firm to take back any funds you haven't spent by the end of your department's fiscal year. That means that if you have any cash left over—unlikely but possible—then you must spend it before time runs out, or it is lost to you. This isn't as bad as it seems, especially if your fiscal year is the same as the calendar year. Most vendors of hardware and software are very busy trying to close as many deals as possible before the end of the year, meaning now is the time to get the best deals you're going to see all year long. So, if there is any budget still to be spent, start talking to your vendors and be very clear that you must spend the cash before January 1.
Next year's budget is also on the table right now. Hopefully, you have a hand in drafting the budget for the coming year and will be able to get the gear you need built into the bottom line. However, most tech staffers do not have that luxury. In that case, all you can —and must—do is make sure that those who are in charge of drawing up budget numbers are well aware of your needs. Dig up that DR plan and make sure you know what parts still need to be implemented over the coming year. Make sure you fully document all your needs, even if you're not going to get the cash for them just yet. At the very least, you will have a paper trail that shows that you asked for the cash, but there is at least a chance you will find yourself with the budget turning in your favor.
In DR, planning is everything. This is true both in strategizing how systems and software will work together and in planning for the funding to properly implement those solutions over the coming year. Best wishes for the coming New Year. Here's hoping that this is the year you are able to implement an airtight DR plan—and no reason at all to use it!