If disaster recovery planning seems like just one more of those things to do when you can get round to it, it may help to think about the critical business data you need to protect, and get started with a relevant disaster recovery plan template. Your organisation has information concerning customers, operations, and administration that is irreplaceable and that you cannot afford to lose. A template list like the one below can help get the ball rolling.
A definitive list will depend on what is critical to your business in particular. However, if you have any trouble getting started, just think of the information you use on a daily basis and what the impact would be on your productivity and efficiency, if you were denied access to that information. Here’s what a disaster recovery plan template might include:
- Customer information. Sales pipeline of orders forecast to come in, sales and delivery records, customer correspondence including paper and email media, support and service level agreements, quality and product tracking information, documentation and manuals for products you supply
- Operational information. Certificates and licences, procedures and policies, IT provider service level agreements, IT network configuration, security, product specifications, product design information, product inventory
- Administrative information. Financial records and information, employee, supplier and insurance contact information, human resources records.
For some of this information such as the sales pipeline of orders, it’s clear to see the immediate importance. Sales are the lifeblood of any commercial enterprise, and by definition not being able to bring sales in means business death. However, scrambling to reconstruct other lost information in the event of a problem (your IT network goes down) or when summoned to do so (for tax and legal reasons) can also damage your productivity. If you can’t find a disaster recovery plan template to suit right away, try using the list above to take the first steps to safeguarding your business critical data.