Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Disaster Recovery Planning

Bad things happen to good companies, which is why Disaster Recovery Planning is absolutely critical.   Whether dealing with an act of God, like a typhoon, tsunami, earthquake, hurricane or tornado, or an act of man, all of which can cause an office, or plant closure, well managed companies have Disaster Recovery Plans in place in an attempt to eliminate down time as much as possible. 

Since computer systems are so important to the running of any good sized business, particularly for global companies, there must be redundancy.   In our case, our primary data center is in a hardened co-location site built to withstand natural disasters.   But, just in case, we have a completely redundant secondary data center in the event our primary site goes down  in one of our office locations.   This is a very costly approach; but certainly a lot less costly in terms of loss of revenues and potentially clients in the event our primary data center was wiped out without the ability to flip a switch to get us back in business within a reasonable period of time; certainly not more than 24 hours. 

However, Disasters come in many forms that can cause business disruption.   As a result,  our Director, Corporate Services is in charge of our Disaster Recovery Plan to make sure that we have a plan in place to deal with any eventuality we can conceive.   Our Plan includes a call/email tree to inform our employees, clients, customers and suppliers of any service disruption.  In addition, since we have redundant service centers in place, we can actually switch work, for a short time, to one of our other office locations until we can properly deal with the disaster.   This includes shifting work from our off-shore service center in India back to the United States in the event that was necessary. 

Disaster Recovery Planning takes time, resources and work.  It is easy to push this process to the back burner; but very dangerous to the health of a company.   The time put into this process, on a regular basis, could determine if a company survives a Disaster or not.   Senior Management of every company should make sure that Disaster Recovery Planning is in place.  Failure to do so would be a huge mistake.   Remember, the first job of the President and CEO of every company is to insure the survival of the company doing everything possible within legal and ethical bounds.   Disaster Recovery Planning should be a very high priority. 

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