We often get asked about planning for disaster recovery scenarios and as part of this, we use the following elements to consider firstly under what conditions we need to plan for disaster and then, in broad terms, the steps we take in planning for the exercise.
Scenario 1: Single system failure, i.e.: file server, internet, or telephone system, etc.
Could happen if your server is close to end of life (hardware failure), your internet, or telephone service provider is having issues, electricity fluctuations…
Action: Your IT department, or support provider, should be able to pinpoint the issue. If you have backup systems, these will be used to restore operations as soon as possible. Should a hardware failure occur, the equipment will be replaced and data restored from your backup (if applicable).
Scenario 2: IT systems are OK, but there is no access to the office
Can happen if there’s a terrorist attack and area has been cordoned off, organised protest, road closures, flooding, suspected gas leak…
Action: You and your employees can work from home securely, if you have been set up to do so. Definitely worth considering for the duration of any major sporting events, e.g.: Olympics, World Cups, etc.
Scenario 3: Full or partial communication systems failure
Similar to scenario 1, but in this instance, both your primary and secondary forms of communication are down…
Action: Your IT team should switch over to your backup lines immediately, if it hasn’t happened automatically. They should also pinpoint any hardware, or software failures and rectify them immediately to enable people to return to work as soon as possible.
Scenario 4: Loss of entire office (i.e.: both systems and site)
This is most common as a result of, or during, a natural disaster, e.g.: floods, fire, or violent protests…
Action: This would fall under Disaster Recovery. The Managing Director would authorise the procurement of a new site, IT equipment and other tools necessary to get the business operational again. This usually takes longer than the other scenarios, due to having to wait for the insurance payment.
Scenario 5: Loss of staff
Could happen in the case of a national, or international pandemic, an office syndicate wins the National Lottery, or staff poaching…
Action: This would also fall under Disaster Recovery. Your IT department should immediately disable their access so they cannot pilfer important data and a recruitment drive should begin immediately, though this may prove difficult in the event of a national, or global illness.
Following is the process we use to assist in our planning and preparation:
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