Disaster recovery: How to prepare for the worst (free PDF)

Building a viable DR and business continuity plan, testing and adapting it, and making sure everyone in your organization knows what to do in the event of a disaster is a tall order—but it’s critical for organizations of all sizes. This ebook looks at the biggest challenges and best strategies for planning, preparation, and recovery.

From the ebook:

One of the most challenging issues CIOs face is developing disaster recovery (DR) plans that go beyond system recovery and focus on overall business continuity. Is there a difference?

A surprising number of C-level executives would prefer to say “no” because 1) they don’t want to dedicate employees to developing DR plans and practice exercises and 2) since systems are key to business recovery, why not make the entire process an IT one?

If you’re a corporate shareholder, the process doesn’t work that way. You want to know the business can continue, and if you serve on the company’s board, you want to be able to assure people that the company is not in ruins. The mouthpiece for this process is the CEO and, in some cases, the public relations director—not IT. In the beginning stages of DR, nothing is more important to the public and the stakeholders than communications.

The second foundational support for DR is operational continuity. This means developing scripts for manual failover processes in every business area and having employees complete dry-run practices of these scripts to make sure that they work. For example, bank tellers would manually keep ledgers of transactions as customers come in to bank branches to make deposits and withdrawals and then post the manual entries to the system when it comes back online.

To ensure complete DR, C-level executives, mid-level managers across the company, HR, and IT must all be deeply engaged in the process. To affect this level of across-the-board commitment, responsibility for DR ultimately rests with the CEO, and the job of carrying out a DR must cross every business function.

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